The Ocean Friendly Gardens program

Welcome to the Ocean Friendly Gardens Program!

Surfrider initiated the Ocean Friendly Gardens Program (OFG) to help its members and the general public take some steps at their own homes to clean and prevent pollution reaching the ocean and start to restore urban watersheds. Water leaving residential and other developed sites can carry away and/or pick up pollutants on its journey to the ocean. This urban runoff has become the #1 source of ocean pollution. For example, every dry day in Los Angeles County, 300 million gallons of water runs off our landscapes, buildings and streets and into the ocean!

Ocean Friendly Gardens and parkways "apply CPR to the landscape" to revive our watersheds and oceans. CPR stands for:

Conservation of (a) water, (b) fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, (c) energy (moving water around the state is the #1 user of energy), (d) and reduce the use of gas-powered maintenance machinery (air pollutants) through the use of native and/or climate-adapted plants.

Permeability increased by utilizing materials for a driveway, walkway and patio that allow water to percolate into the soil.

Retention of rainwater and prevention of wet-weather runoff by directing you rain gutter downspout into your garden or a storage tank for reuse.

devices like rain gardens, rain barrels and rain chains as well as bio-swales, dry creek beds and dry wells.

Click here to read more about CPR principles and practices.

Here's a short video on the value of Ocean Friendly Gardens:

Surfrider welcomes partnerships with government, non-profit organizations, landscape professionals, businesses and schools to put these principles into practice and develop an OFG Program in communities and cities in each Chapter's area. The OFG Program and this nationally-oriented blog will help you convert your own landscape into one that is ocean friendly.Surfrider Chapters around Southern Califonia are launching OFG Programs, and may expand statewide and nationwide at some point.

A Surfrider Chapter OFG Program may include these components:

  • Basics Class on sustainable landscaping principles and practices;
  • Hands-On Workshops (HOW) - led by a sustainable landscape professional, with some time in class and some hands-on;
  • Garden Assistance Program (GAP) - garden assistance for class attendees that do their "homework" - create a design, gather materials, invite neighbors - and are willing to help others.
  • Lawn Patrol - neighborhood walks, starting at an OFG, to help beginners develop an eye for identifying OFGs or opportunities to help an existing garden become one.

Click here to find a Chapter near you. Volunteering with a Chapter OFG group will help strengthen the wave of environmental changes.

You can also contact the National OFG Coordinator, Paul Herzog: or (310) 439-2500.