Authorities investigating syringe wash up at Island Beach State Park

    Syringe used by diabetics. (Photo: Melissa Wiese via

    Syringe used by diabetics. (Photo: Melissa Wiese via

    Three dozen syringes washed ashore in Island Beach State Park last Friday, and authorities are investigating, according an Asbury Park Press report.

    After lifeguards found the syringes, park staffers removed the debris, scoured the beach Friday and Saturday morning, and raked the park’s coastline twice. The needles are those typically used by diabetes patients, and no additional medical waste has been found since Friday, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese told the newspaper.

    The source is possibly the New York Harbor area, where the needles could have entered due to a “wash-up” from a sewer system, Ragonese said, adding that all beaches are open and the Ocean County Health Department is investigating.

    Commenters on Jersey Shore Hurricane News saw debris at Island Beach State Park Saturday morning.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Kristin Cadic Vogel noticed “plastic tampon applicators, bottle caps, and straws” on the beach. John Burns said he surfed there Friday afternoon and noticed a variety of trash in the water, including “glass bottles, straws, what looked like aluminum sheets, large pieces of lumber, even what looked like foot waste.”

    Further north at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch on Friday, Philip W. Lowcher saw “tampon applicators, syringes, condons, and more,” adding that he took photos and sent them to Clean Ocean Action.

    “It was the biggest mess I saw in years,” he wrote. 

    The results of water quality tests conducted at ocean and bay beach locations will be released tomorrow, according to the Asbury Park Press report. 

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal