Known as Shore Buddies, the new business venture was started by Malte Niebelschuetz.
“We founded Shore Buddies in summer 2014 right here in San Diego,” Niebelschuetz said. “We take recycled plastic bottles to create 12-inch plush animals which represent local coastal wildlife. We donate $1 with every purchase directly to the Surfrider Foundation, San Diego County chapter, to protect our oceans, waves and beaches.”
Shore Buddies come with authentic sounds built in of the marine mammals they depict.
Niebelschuetz came to San Diego about four years ago from his native Germany. He said Shore Buddies is a new concept he came up with after seeing “all the souvenir shops right on the boardwalk. I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give something back to the community.’ So I came up with Shore Buddies as an environmentally friendly way to make stuffed animals from recycled materials and donate a portion of the proceeds to local nonprofit agencies to protect the ocean and shoreline.”
The Shore Buddies brand was started with three different animals: the California gull, the common dolphin and the harbor seal. The hang-tags of each stuffed animal include information about what everybody can do to protect the ocean and coastal wildlife.
“Our products are beloved by tourists and locals alike,” said Niebelschuetz. “We can be found at many different places throughout Southern California.”
Locations where Shore Buddies are available along the San Diego coast includes Crystal Pier in PB, La Jolla Cove/Children’s Pool in La Jolla, Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, San Diego International Airport, Gepetto’s toy stores and the Hotel Del Coronado.
Shore Buddies retail for $19 to $22, which includes the $1 Surfrider donation.
For more information, email [email protected] or visit shore-buddies.com.
Surfrider Foundation is one of the world’s largest nonprofit grassroots organizations dedicated to the protection of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Begun in 1984, Surfrider currently has 84 chapters, including 30 high school and college clubs, and more than 250,000 supporters, volunteers and activists nationwide. Surfrider has about 100 different campaigns in four core areas: beach access, clean water, coastal preservation and ocean protection.