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Ocean Friendly Gardens

A Natural Solution for Stormwater Pollution  


The Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) is the Surfrider Foundation’s sustainable landscaping and education program that provides beautiful, inexpensive and natural solutions to reduce polluted runoff and to support resilient coasts. 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.


Slow the Flow

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.

Water runoff is the #1 source of ocean pollution in urban areas

A Watershed Approach

OFGs apply CPR – Conservation, Permeability and Retention – to landscapes, hardscapes and streets. They allow soil to act like a sponge, restoring the vital functions of watersheds to protect local water supplies and prevent pollution from reaching the ocean. They also reduce flooding during storm events, pull carbon from the air and into plants and soil, and create wildlife habitat.

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.

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Get Gardening with Dashboard.Earth

Surfrider Foundation has partnered with the Dashboard.Earth app to create pathways to learn about Ocean Friendly Gardens, get involved at home and in your community, and track your positive impact on the environment.

Find resources and step-by-step guides to make your own space more ocean friendly!


Creating Healthy Soils 

Remove, Reduce, or Sustain your Lawn

Building Habitat with Native Plants

Reduce Hard Surfaces

  • For questions about the OFG program please contact:
    Southern California Ocean Friendly Gardens Coordinator
    Kathryn Dressendorfer