Here is a great example of turning a weed patch (at left) into an Ocean Friendly Garden, then pitching the story to a local paper. The Ocean Friendly Gardens Committee of the Surfrider Foundation's Jersey Shore Surfrider Chapter found a great host in Christina and Alan Katz, who wanted to be an example in their neighborhood of OFG. The article at right tells the story so well that there is not much more to say about it. Some pictures here show the process.
I just want to make one minor note about the way rainwater is absorbed in this landscape. The downspout is directly connected to a pipe with holes in it (at left). There's an overflow "pop-up" at the end (green cap, below right). The perforated pipe will allow water to be released along the way, and the pop-up with let excess water overflow. This set-up typically is done when there is a need to move water away from a build and foundation before allowing for infiltration. Where there is a small space, larger retention areas are created, e.g., dry wells, milk crate-like boxes wrapped in permeable material. But the set-up works here. Plus, the owners were under a bit of a time crunch: they already had their plumber on-site to fix their leaky downspout, so they went with the pipe-and-pop-up.
In situations where there is sufficient landscape, a downspout can send the "first flush" (first 1-2 inches of rain) to a swale and basin, being slowed by rocks, curves and low points along the way. Then, the water can spread out and sink. An exit point can be created so that too much water to be absorbed flows away from buildings and off the site.
(The OFG homepage has a link to a formula to figure out how much capacity is needed to absorb an amount of roof runoff.)
Again, the Jason from Rarefinds Nursey was involved, providing the plant and consulting with the homeowners. It's a beautiful example of an OFG project. The hosts were awesome. And the Chapter did a great job of coordinating within their OFG Committee as well as outreach to members.