Ocean Friendly Gardens
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.
Map of OFGs - see it here.
- See descriptions, runoff and water savings, pictures, plants lists and more.
- Post a "report" of your project.
- Order an OFG Yard Sign - info on the "Instructions" page.
Do It Yourself...Or Share This Info With a Professional
- Creating a Site Plan and Creating a Rain Garden
- Determining your soil type
- Killing your lawn through sheet mulching
- Properly installing a plant to insure success
More Resources - click on the "Resources" tab, above, for videos and articles, the recent OFG Annual Report, and more!
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.
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
A city hall landscape becomes an OFG through hands-on workshop with Conservation Corps
OFG featured on state water agency website.
"Slow The Flow: How To Make Your Garden Act More Like A Sponge" (features San Francisco Chapter's OFG Program)
Elmer Avenue - OFG + green street (Los Angeles Area)
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
June 24 2014
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!
June 11 2014
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.
June 10 2014
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!
May 27 2014
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.
April 18 2014
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.
April 18 2014
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.
April 08 2014
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!
March 21 2014
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.
March 20 2014
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.
March 13 2014
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!
March 12 2014
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.
February 07 2014
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."
January 29 2014
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.
December 02 2013
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!
October 03 2013
A team of school staff, parents and kids working with community groups, professionals and Surfrider-Ventura County Chapter made this garden happen. Now the school district grounds and maintenance staff are up for doing them at more schools!
September 20 2013
Creating an Ocean Friendly Garden at a high profile community center means lots of people will see it. Get the approval, support and funding can be a little more challenging than a private-owned site. Maintenance is also a factor.
September 06 2013
Five Surfrider chapters from four Hawaiian islands gathered for their annual conference, and learned about Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Gardens Program. A pre-conference meeting with a sister non-profit, and a tour by them after the conference, showed partnership potential on one island. Now, several island chapters are kicking off an OFG program.
July 26 2013
The Surfrider chapters, volunteers, students and advisors that make up the Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Program undertook an awesome effort to both educate the public about OFG and conduct hands-on trainings to build OFGs in their communities during 2012. We are thankful to our funders: Aveda, California Coastal Commission, West Basin Municipal Water District, Wells Fargo, and individual donors.