Lake Friendly Gardens

The mission of Ocean Friendly Gardens program, which we relate to our lakes and waterways, is to educate, train and support Surfrider members and the general public to prevent urban runoff and help restore urban watersheds by applying CPR© to their landscapes: Conserving water and energy, Permeating water into the soil, and Retaining rainwater on site. We welcome partnerships with government, non-profit organizations, landscape professionals, businesses and schools to accomplish this.

A Ocean Friendly Garden is a garden that applies CPR – Conservation, Permeability, and Retention – to revive the health of our oceans, lakes, and waterways.

Conserving the use of water, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides reduces the amount of pollutants and water running off a landscape and dramatically helps restore and protect our local waterways and the ocean. Removing turf grass areas as much as possible, and replacing them with native plants or other climate-adapted choices establishes habitat for many species and makes the garden “come alive.” Finally, the proper selection of plants and design reduces maintenance and eliminates the need for equipment that contributes to air pollution.

Permeability within a landscape allows it to hold more of its water and nutrients. This mixture of water and nutrients is healthy in a garden but can accumulate and deplete oxygen in our streams and ocean – killing precious marine life. Permeable walkways and other permeable “hardscape” as well as “living soil” greatly improve a garden’ permeability.

Retaining rainwater in your garden mimics natural processes. Retention/infiltration areas help restore a garden’s natural water resource and replenish groundwater aquifers, which directly benefits the communities that rely on groundwater. These devices are important at capturing 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.”

Click here for the OFG sign criteria, and click here to buy the OFG book!