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Volunteers with the San Diego Coastkeeper clean up the beach during one of the organization’s previous events to protect county beaches from trash and debris. Courtesy photo
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Celebrate Ocean’s Day with Coastkeeper clean up

CARLSBAD — Protecting the ocean is their mission and next week, San Diego Coastkeeper will hit the beach to do its part.

Wednesday is World Ocean’s Day, while the nonprofit will host a cleanup day at La Jolla Shores June 11.

Kristin Kuhn, community engagement manager for San Diego Coastkeeper, said her organization is designed to connect people with the ocean.

The cleanup, meanwhile, is an effort to prevent marine debris from entering the ocean.

Kuhn said 60 to 80 percent of trash in the ocean is due to improper disposal on land, which is an issue Coastkeeper educates and advocates.

Their core mission, however, is to protect and restore the waters in San Diego County so they remain swimmable, fishable and drinkable.

As for June 11, she said the group expects at least 200 people to attend, but are campaigning to draw a larger crowd for their weekend event.

“The beach cleanup is designed … to get their hands on and celebrating World Ocean’s Day,” Kuhn said. “We match education, advocacy, science and community engagement.”

Yet another role for Coastkeeper has been promoting plastic bag bans, which several cities in the county have enacted. As part of the single-use plastic bag ban efforts, Coastkeeper also promotes people using renewable bags.

“The reason we care about that is that we find so many single-use plastic bags on the beach when we do our clean ups,” Kuhn said. “At the beach clean ups, we have volunteers record what we find, so that gives us a good idea of the composition and origin of the trash on our beach.”

As banning single-use plastic bags gains steam, Carlsbad-based CleverMade is also getting in the mix through their products.

Founder Tom Quinn and his team designed and produce baskets and crates as an alternative solution to plastic bags when shopping.

“We are already aware that there is a big movement,” Quinn said. “I thought if this trend was really doing something in Europe, this could be a potentially big idea.”

The baskets and crates both fold down to avoid gobbling up space when not in use and make for an efficient way to run errands, and of course, use at the beach.

The crates range in capacity from 22 pounds to 176, although the two biggest sizes will not be available for several more weeks.

CleverMade will also donate its EcoBaskets at the June 11 event, while Coastkeeper will give out 50 rash guards as part of their efforts.

“This is a product that I believe is really a game changer, which is the snapback and eco products,” Quinn said.