Building Climate Resiliency in Long Beach with Ocean Friendly Gardens & Dashboard EarthBy Kathryn Dressendorfer
The Surfrider Foundation is partnering with Dashboard.Earth to offer Los Angeles county residents tangible and personalized actions that anyone can easily take at home and in their neighborhood to conserve water, reduce pollution and build climate resiliency.
Dashboard.Earth is a mobile app that is designed to connect people with local actions necessary to thrive in the face of climate change. This new partnership allows Surfrider to reach a whole new audience to educate LA county residents on the practical and sustainable landscaping practices that the Ocean Friendly Gardens program offers to protect clean water and resilient coastlines. If you live in Long Beach or LA County, Download the Dashboard.Earth App here.
While the Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) program’s original intent was to provide people with solutions for polluted runoff, many of the core principles of this program - such as forgoing landscaping chemicals and building healthy soil with mulch and compost instead, or swapping out monoculture turf lawns with native plants - also help reduce the impacts of climate change. Biologically-active soils and native plants and trees act as a sponge to not only absorb and store water (thereby reducing runoff), but they can also capture carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the soil (carbon sequestration).
Through the partnership with Dashboard.Earth and the Long Beach Chapter’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program, Surfrider will be breaking down the OFG criteria into simple, measurable steps that will inspire community members in Long Beach and across Los Angeles to make their yards more Ocean Friendly. In addition to these mobile tools and resources, in-person training workshops will be held at demonstration sites within the Alamitos Bay Watershed. Water quality in Alamitos Bay, which lies between the San Gabriel and LA Rivers, is affected by runoff and pollution flowing from inland neighborhoods. This area contains many well-used recreational sites important to our local community, such as Mother’s Beach, the Colorado Lagoon, and adjacent beaches and parks.
The Long Beach Chapter recently launched their community engagement efforts for this project with a garden tour where important features of Ocean Friendly Gardens such as native plants, alternative ground covers, and stormwater retention designs were viewed and discussed.
If you live near Los Angeles, download the Dashboard.Earth app today, and start your journey to resiliency.