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Cleanup program planned

Help Blue Water has found a way to keep the town’s beaches clean while helping students throughout Orange County meet required community service hours.

The organization will launch the Clean Beach Station Program on Earth Day, April 22, in which partnering businesses along the coast from Newport Beach to San Clemente will serve as information and supply stations.

The surf shops, restaurants and stores will distribute CBS Kits, which contain trash bags and gloves. Volunteers will collect trash from beaches and return to the station.

Rick Conkey, founder of the organization and program, said it was designed to keep clean-up efforts like ZeroTrash, initiated in 2007 by local Chip McDermott, running at all times.

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“These organized cleanups play a vital role in the overall condition and health of our coastline and its marine habitat,” he said. “People who care shouldn’t have to wait for a monthly beach cleanup to pick up trash.

“Since all high school students in Orange County are required to complete a certain number of community service hours and will use the beaches several times during the year, this is a great way to help the environment and students.”

The program will also benefit Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other youth organizations that require community service.

Another perk, Conkey said, is increased store traffic.

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“And of course students get to experience a first-hand sense of accomplishment in supporting a beautiful future for our beaches,” he said.

Help Blue Water plans to expand the effort along the Southern California coast.

Reggae band Common Sense, funk rockers Frame of Mind and soul/funk/reggae band Soul Rebel Alliance will kick off the effort with a promotional concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at Club M, 680 S. Coast Hwy.

“These great musicians harness the ability to attract attention and shine light on the most vital community concerns,” Conkey said. “Artists will change the world, one event at a time.”

Established in 2005, Help Blue Water is by artists who hope to inspire environmental and humanitarian action through their creative works. The group organizes special events featuring musicians, artists and filmmakers, with the purpose of raising funds and awareness about the ocean and environment.

Concert tickets are $20; $15 pre-sale. For more information about the program or to buy tickets, visit www.helpbluewater.com.



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