Ocean Friendly Gardens

The Ocean Friendly Gardens program (OFG) sees landscapes and streets as solutions to water pollution - and more. OFG standards use this simple approach everywhere possible: contouring landscapes for rainwater retention; creating living soil to sponge up water, filter pollution and sequester carbon; and installing climate-appropriate plants to create wildlife habitat and a sense of place.

The Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Program is Surfrider Foundation's volunteer-run landscape education, hands-on training and advocacy program. In addition to providing valuable information to property owners on how landscapes and hardscapes can prevent water pollution, Surfrider chapters are using this program to encourage landscape professionals to incorporate the program’s principles into their business practices. Chapters also use the program to motivate local governments to support OFG-oriented policy changes for existing and new development.

Water runoff is the #1 source of ocean pollution in urban areas, contributing to flooding and wasting water that can irrigate landscapes and replenish groundwater. OFGs apply CPR - Conservation, Permeability and Retention - to landscapes, hardscapes and streets. They allow soil to act like a sponge to help restore the helpful functions of watersheds like protecting local water supplies and preventing pollution from reaching the ocean. They also reduce flooding, pull carbon from the air and into plants and soil, and create wildlife habitat (above is a typical OFG and below is a curb cut flowing into a bio-swale).

OFGs apply what is coming to be known around the country as the watershed approach. The principles are the same: healthy, living soil; retain rainwater; climate-appropriate plants; efficient supplemental irrigation as needed.

Go to the Resources page for:

  • More about CPR
  • OFG criteria
  • OFG Activist Toolkit
  • OFG online map and yard sign
  • OFG videos, articles and funding sources

You can stay in touch with OFG through our national OFG Facebook page. Please connect or volunteer with one of the Surfrider chapters or student clubs.

Publications

Program Criteria

Benefits of Healthy Soils and Ocean Friendly Gardens

Toolkits and Online Tools

 

Signs, Brochures, and Educational Resources

  • To order an Ocean Friendly Garden Sign, please email Lindsey Koning, lkoning@surfrider.org

Guidelines and How To's 

Resources for Chapters

 

Surfrider is a Promotional Partner for the U.S. E.P.A.'s WaterSense Program.

Mara Dias, Water Quality Manager: mdias@surfrider.org

Ocean Friendly Gardens Updates