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Join Clean Ocean Access in a Toy Story

MIDDLETOWN, RHODE ISLAND, UNITED STATES, August 2, 2022 / -- Clean Ocean Access (COA), a nonprofit organization with the vision of A Clean, Healthy Ocean that is Accessible to All, is partnering with Embrace Home Loans and the Town of Middletown for a new pilot program called, “Take a Toy – Leave a Toy.”

Clean Ocean Access has conducted over 2,500 cleanups across Rhode Island, removing over 75 tons of debris, and cataloging a total of 761,832 unique items. Of the debris collected, they’ve removed 5,395 beach toys of which 2,307 were collected at and around both Second and Third Beaches. Data drives policy and change and this fact brings awareness and the need for an innovative solution to reduce plastic waste and the reuse of the toys that have been left behind.

“Whether it is the After5 beach clean-ups, sponsoring of right of way, helping to ban plastic bags on the island or pilot programs like this! The Town of Middletown appreciates COA’s continued programs and initiatives helping to make the beach experience as good as it can be!”, said Will Cronin (Town of Middletown).

The “Take a Toy – Leave a Toy” program aims to address the number of reusable beach toys that become single-use when they get left behind on the beach. Imagine going to the beach knowing that toys are available for use, cutting back on the need to buy new ones, and as a community the need to use less plastic. This new program creates a better beach experience with less waste and since fewer toys are being thrown away their reuse will provide enjoyment for others.

Max Kraimer, Strategic Partnerships Manager for Clean Ocean Access, says, “This program is a perfect example of how Clean Ocean Access has gone from a reactive organization that cleans the beach, to proactive champions that bring new, innovative approaches to address the plastic pollution crisis.”

The idea of this program originated from the organization’s dedicated volunteers who clean Second Beach daily and simply became fed up with the number of toys left behind. Goggles, buckets, shovels, and sand sifters used in this program have been recovered and are now repurposed for our community’s use. These Toy Boxes can be found at the Surfer’s End and at lifeguard chairs two and seven. The pending success of the program, Clean Ocean Access envisions the expansion of this program to spread to not only all lifeguard chairs at Second Beach, but other popular recreational areas in Rhode Island.

The “Take a Toy - Leave a Toy” program is sponsored by Embrace Home Loans as part of Clean Ocean Access’ corporate experience opportunities. Seventy-five regional branch managers from Embrace Home Loans took a break from their computers and tested their woodworking and painting skills to construct the toy boxes for this program. Jen McMahan of Embrace Home Loans comments on the value of this event saying, “Seeing everyone working as a team, being creative, and helping an important local initiative, while bonding through laughter and fun banter was extremely rewarding and a memory that will be treasured.”

For more information about this program, upcoming volunteer opportunities, or how to schedule your own corporate experience, please contact Max Kraimer at 401-236-2561 or

Chelsea Swift
Rose & Gold Agency
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