Ocean Friendly Gardens, GAP, Water Quality
December 02 2015

Volunteers Energize Utility Company To Draw From Ocean Friendly Garden Principles

Surfrider-Huntington Beach Chapter's Jeff Coffman's and Greg Goran's persistence paid off! After months of talks and sharing information, the Ocean Friendly Gardens critieria were followed by Southern California Edison (SCE) at Edison's power substation.

The site had been 36,000 square feet of turf grass, using 2 million-plus gallons per year of drinking water and creating runoff. Now it uses drip irrigation to get established, requiring 65% less water.

A combination of contouring the property to drain to low spots, creating healthy, living soil to sponge up the water, and using climate appropriate plants (local natives) will allow the garden at maturity to rely on rainwater. This will reduce runoff by 90%, decreases flooding, and create wildlife habitat.

Greg and Jeff played different roles (pictured at left, Greg is in black, holding the mic, and Jeff is to his left). Greg, the Ocean Friendly Gardens Program Chair, helped ensure that the OFG principles were followed by SCE and their designer. Greg also applied compost tea.

Jeff, the Chapter's Vice-Chair, is a volunteer member of the City of Huntington Beach's Environmental Board and stayed in touch with SCE through that role. In addition, Jeff's company - Clean Green Technology - was hired by SCE to install a filter and plants in the bio-swales to help remove metals, hyrdrocarbons and other pollutants. Per the company's website, "This Best Management Practice (BMP) complies with EPA standards filtering stormwater run off for site locations that are 5000 square feet or greater."

The project was designed by the company Site Design Studio. A great, intepretive sign was installed at the site, with guidance from Greg. The sign states that the designer created a "biophilic design:" meaning, one that supports the "instinctive bond" between people and nature by "mimic[ing] and reveal[ing] natural systems in the landscape."