WHY OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS? Urban water runoff is the main source of ocean pollution! It erodes stream banks and creates flooding. This runoff water can be used to irrigate landscapes, recharge groundwater and help ensure base stream flows. In addition, climate appropriate and native plants do not need chemicals and commercial fertilizers to thrive, two of the main water pollutants. Hence, Ocean Friendly Gardens for our oceans, waves and beaches!

MISSION: To advocate for native and/or climate appropriate landscapes to conserve water and improve water quality.

CPR: Conservation, Permeability, Retention

An Ocean Friendly Garden is one that applies the CPR principles. Conservation, Permeability and Retention


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Conservation: Conserve the use of water, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and the amount of maintenance needed. Replacing turf grass areas with native plants or other climate-adapted choices reduces the amount of water needed to maintain a healthy landscape and reduces the potential for polluted runoff, helping to restore our local waterways and a healthy ocean. A well thought out design and selection of plants reduces or eliminates mechanical landscape maintenance and its associated contribution to air pollution.

Permeability: Permeable, living soil sponges up water for plants to tap into during dry months and filters pollutants. Permeable walkways and other permeable “hardscape” along with “living soil” greatly improve a garden’s permeability.

Retention: Retaining rainwater and allowing it to filter into the soil restores reduces the need for irrigation and replenishes groundwater aquifers. The aim is to capture at least the first inch of rainfall after a dry spell – the event called “First Flush” – that carries the most pollutants to our ocean. Approximately 600 gallons of water is generated per inch of rain per 1,000 sq. ft. of impermeable surface. The steps of rainwater retention are to take water otherwise running off your property and “slow it, spread it and sink it.”

WORKSHOPS: Do you want to learn more about Ocean Friendly Gardens? Come and learn for FREE how to conserve water, reduce the cost and maintenance of your landscape and also help restore a healthy coast and ocean! You will learn what it means to have a Sustainable Landscape – one that thrives during drought and El Niño conditions! Sign up now!


VIDEOS: Watch more Ocean Friendly Gardens videos here!


BLOG:  Read News & Articles About Ocean Friendly Gardens

RESOURCES: Achieving a New Normal




CONTACT For more information email ofg@surfridersd.org

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