Change Begins Onshore

Ocean Friendly Gardens


Learn about the OFG Series approach: watershed basics class, site evaluation hands-on workshop & workday.

 

Urban runoff is the #1 source of ocean pollution. Water running off our properties picks ups pollutants like fertilizers, pesticides, animal poo, and fine sediment as well as oil, brake pad dust and exhaust from cars. Runoff also contributes to flooding, and it wastes a free source of irrigation in the landscape. Click here to learn more.

Principles - CPR: Conservation, Permeability and Retention

Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) revive our watersheds and oceans by applying CPR - Conservation, Permability and Retention - to our landscapes and hardscapes. OFGs utilize rainwater as a resource, create permeable soil and hard surfaces, and conserve water, energy and wildlife habitat through native plants and drip irrigation. Vegetable and fruit trees can be part of OFGs as as long as they "apply CPR." Click here to learn more about CPR and here for the OFG Sign Criteria (there's also a version of the criteria in a check-box format here). See the OFG Map section below to order an OFG Yard Sign.

Programs & Partnerships

We implement OFG through education, hands-on activities and policy change. (Check with your local Surfrider chapter to see what components they are offering.) We seek to team-up with government, professionals and non-profits to help host events and scale-up implementation. Here's info for:

  • Activists - The OFG Activist Toolkit explains how to run program events: walks, classes, workdays, workshops. Here's a brief description of each event: walks, class, workdays and workshops. The Toolkit also has volunteer job descriptions, sample event flyers, tabling visuals, slideshows, case studies & more. Note: the Toolkit only has .pdf files. Go to ChapterNet (Resources>Programs>Ocean Friendly Gardens) for .doc and .ppt files, and an "Intro to OFG" .ppt is in this Public Dropbox folder.
  • Workday hosts - Click here for more information on your responsibilities. Click here for more information on how Surfrider chapters may help.
  • Professionals - Chapters work with professionals who agree to follow the OFG criteria when leading an OFG class or an OFG workday. Professionals who volunteer with chapters may be given priority for leading a chapter event. Click here for more information.

OFG Map

  • Post a garden - See descriptions, runoff and water savings, pictures, plants lists and more. Click here.
  • Order a yard sign - Get info on the map's "Instructions" page - click here.

 

Do It Yourself...Or Share This Info With a Professional

More Resources - click on the "Resources" tab, above, for videos and articles, the recent OFG Annual Report, and more!

Share

OFG Criteria (long form) and in the checkbox format.

Ocean Friendly Gardens 2012 Annual Report - download a copy.

Ocean Friendly Gardens Brochure - download a copy.

Ocean Friendly Gardens How-To Gardener's Guide Book:

  • Surfrider chapters - send an order to Surfrider Mail Order Manager, Jill Tierney, that states how many books you want, your mailing address, and when you need the books by. Jill will give you a price for the books and shipping.
  • General public - order it here.

Videos:

7 shorts from SWRCB on how to retrofit a landscape and hard surface to be an OFG. 

  • #1 - intro to stormwater
  • #2 - killing lawn through sheet mulching
  • #3 - disconnecting downspouts
  • #4 - lawn care
  • #5 - supporting healthy soil
  • #6 - permeable hard surfaces
  • #7 - swales and rain gardens

The value of a rain barrel with Surfrider-East Coast Regional Manager, John Weber

Stormwater outfall pipe in action - spewing runoff into Seattle's Puget Sound (on a rainy day)

A city hall landscape becomes an OFG through hands-on workshop with Conservation Corps

A GAP transforms a park's grass lawn into an OFG.

OFG featured on state water agency website.

Cutting the parkway curb to capture street runoff (LID). An OFG in action, capturing rain.

PSA, short intro video, and 3 videos about levels of OFG programming: Informational, Lawn Patrol, Series.

"Slow The Flow: How To Make Your Garden Act More Like A Sponge" (features San Francisco Chapter's OFG Program)

Pamela Berstler's OFG (Managing Member of G3, The Green Gardens Group)

Elmer Avenue - OFG + green street (Los Angeles Area)

Articles

A small residential OFG done with Surfrider volunteers - Long Beach Daily Bulletin

New York Times on the Garden Assistance Party: text and pictures

Fish put into rain garden-filtered runoff survive; those in un-filtered runoff do not, after just 12 hours!

National OFG Program Coordinator, Paul Herzog, interviewed by Los Angeles City Stormwater blog - click here

Article on OFG Program in Watershed Management Group's newsletter ("Get Your Garden Out Of The Gutter") - click here

Volunteer

Contact your local Surfrider Chapter to see if they are conducting an Ocean Friendly Gardens Program.http://www.waterla.org/downloads

CA Law Lets Homeowners Replace Grass Without Being Fined Or Sued

September 19 2014

CA Law Lets Homeowners Replace Grass Without Being Fined Or Sued

Ocean Friendly Gardens

Homeowner association (HOA) residents can now replace their turf grass with low water use plants without fear of being fined or sued by their HOA. Less turf means cleaner surf, since urban runoff is the #1 source of ocean pollution.

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Government Declares Drought In Western States - Again & Again!  Our Approach For Dry & Wet Years

September 17 2014

Government Declares Drought In Western States - Again & Again!  Our Approach For Dry & Wet Years

Blue Water Task Force Know Your H20 Low Impact Development Water Recycling Ocean Friendly Gardens

Surfrider's Clean Water Initiative is a solution for wet and dry years - and for drier and wetter climates. It connects together our work to reduce water use, utilize rainwater as a resource, and recycle "wastewater."

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A Turn For the Better For A Maui Beach Park

September 09 2014

A Turn For the Better For A Maui Beach Park

Ocean Friendly Gardens GAP

Maui beach parks have been a source of polluted runoff. The Surfrider-Maui Chapter installaed two Ocean Friendly Gardens at the S-Turns Beach Park to demonstrate a new model.

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Got A Hurricane? Get A Garden!

August 04 2014

Got A Hurricane? Get A Garden!

Ocean Friendly Gardens GAP

A collaborative effort of the Surfrider-Cape Fear, NC Chapter & UNCW club, university students and professors, and city watershed staff takes a project from concept to reality.

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Surfrider’s Paul Herzog in Slow The Flow’s Film #2: Lawn Be Gone

June 24 2014

Surfrider’s Paul Herzog in Slow The Flow’s Film #2: Lawn Be Gone

Ocean Friendly Gardens

The 1st film gave an intro to why polluted runoff is bad. Now get started with removing your turf grass through sheet mulching - featuring Surfrider Foundation's Ocean Friendly Gardens Program Coordinator!

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Right To Use Climate Appropriate Plants Closer To Becoming Law

June 11 2014

Right To Use Climate Appropriate Plants Closer To Becoming Law

Ocean Friendly Gardens

A bill to protect the right of a homeowner to plant climate-appropriate landscaping just got a step closer to the governor's desk. Surfrider initiated a sign-on letter, signed by 10 enviro non-profits, in support of the bill.

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1st of 7 Films Released to Slow & Prevent Runoff

June 10 2014

1st of 7 Films Released to Slow & Prevent Runoff

Know Your H20 Low Impact Development Ocean Friendly Gardens Basic Class Water Quality

A California state agency is launching 7 short films on how to prevent runoff from landscapes and hard surfaces. The objective is essentially Ocean Friendly Gardens!

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Middle Schoolers Stoked on Ocean Friendly Gardens

May 27 2014

Middle Schoolers Stoked on Ocean Friendly Gardens

Ocean Friendly Gardens Basic Class

Paul Hayden, Chair of the Ocean Friendly Gardens Program for the Surfrider-First Coast Chapter, gave a well-received talk to classes at Fletcher Middle School in Jacksonville, FL. Learn from Paul how it came about, what was said, and how it’s leading to an OFG landscape retrofit project.

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Getting Bigger Bang For Landscape Buck

April 18 2014

Getting Bigger Bang For Landscape Buck

Ocean Friendly Gardens

After reading a Los Angeles Times article on turf grass vs. no turf grass, the discussion seems much more about getting more bang for the buck for landscapes and hardscapes: economically, ecologically, and in many other ways.

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Surfrider Un-Paving San Francisco & Scaling-Up Ocean Friendly Gardens

April 18 2014

Surfrider Un-Paving San Francisco & Scaling-Up Ocean Friendly Gardens

Ocean Friendly Gardens GAP

Surfrider activists work with a team of a 5 residents on a street, plus the support of government and a fellow non-profit to clean up urban runoff by greening up cemented-over parkways in San Francisco. It's a way to scale-up OFG.

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Aveda Cleans Up People & Beaches, Raising Money For Surfrider

April 08 2014

Aveda Cleans Up People & Beaches, Raising Money For Surfrider

Know Your H20 Ocean Friendly Gardens Rise Above Plastics

Aveda salons and Experience Centers throughout So Cal are, again, raising money for Surfrider's Clean Water Program. They've raised $750,000 over the past 7 years!

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Building a model urban watershed & water management system in Ventura, California

March 21 2014

Building a model urban watershed & water management system in Ventura, California

Blue Water Task Force Know Your H20 Low Impact Development Water Recycling Ocean Friendly Gardens Water Quality

For the past two decades, the Ventura Chapter has been identifying problems and promoting solutions for clean water throughout the Ventura River watershed. Their proactive urban watershed program is helping to protect water supply and quality, coastal habitats and recreational opportunities by restoring ecosystem function throughout the watershed.

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Water Agencies Like Beautiful, Functional & Ecological Ocean Friendly Garden

March 20 2014

Water Agencies Like Beautiful, Functional & Ecological Ocean Friendly Garden

Ocean Friendly Gardens

Water supply is a big topic of conversation in California, and this new OFG meets the test. City officials and water agencies like as well for being beautiful, preventing polluted runoff and providing wildlife habitat.

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Oahu Chapter Pumps Out First OFG (Rain Garden)

March 13 2014

Oahu Chapter Pumps Out First OFG (Rain Garden)

Ocean Friendly Gardens GAP

Surfrider-Oahu partners with a local non-profit watershed management group on a class, then a workday. The non-profit brought funding for materials. 10 volunteers built the garden and had fun doing it!

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OFG Teams Up With Nursery Owner For Turf Replacement Talk - Hosted by Water District

March 12 2014

OFG Teams Up With Nursery Owner For Turf Replacement Talk - Hosted by Water District

Ocean Friendly Gardens Basic Class

OFG activist/landscape pro teams up with a plant nursery owner and a local water district to teach people how to convert their turf grass to an OFG.

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Harvest Storm (D)rainwater with “Soil Sponges”

March 07 2014

Harvest Storm (D)rainwater with “Soil Sponges”

Ocean Friendly Gardens Lawn Patrol

Our watersheds need the rain. Let's un-cover our cities to use it - and reduce flooding, pollution and imported water.

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OFG Is February Model For Stormwater Calendar

February 07 2014

OFG Is February Model For Stormwater Calendar

Ocean Friendly Gardens

A stormwater agency was having trouble finding a good picture of a rain garden for a calendar with water pollution prevention tips. They heard about Surfrider's OFG Program, liked the picture we gave them, and OFG became the February cover shot for "Detain The Rain."

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OFG Responds to Droughts - And Water Pollution, Flooding, and…

January 29 2014

OFG Responds to Droughts - And Water Pollution, Flooding, and…

Ocean Friendly Gardens

A drought emergency has been declared by the governor of California, and other southwestern and southern states are likely to follow suit. OFG help reduce landscape water demand, prevent pollution of waterways, and more.

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Raise a Glass to 1st Ocean Friendly Beer Garden

January 02 2014

Raise a Glass to 1st Ocean Friendly Beer Garden

Ocean Friendly Gardens GAP

Leaders with the Coos Bay Surfrider Chapter decided to apply OFG principles to their own business: a brewery. They help create the first Ocean Friend Beer Garden!

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OFG Launching in New England, Rooting in Mid-Atlantic & Southeast

December 02 2013

OFG Launching in New England, Rooting in Mid-Atlantic & Southeast

Ocean Friendly Gardens

The 2013 Surfrider-East Coast Chapters Conference showed that OFG is spreading and strengthening in the Mid-Atlantic region, on down to Georgia. A follow-up visit to the New England-area chapters showed they are ready to launch!

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Paul Herzog pherzog@surfrider.org