Surfrider launches another Ocean Friendly Garden program

COAST CITIES — Surfrider Foundation has kicked off a second round of workshops helping residents create a landscape that increases the beauty and value of their homes while saving water and preventing ocean-polluting runoff.
The three-part Ocean Friendly Garden Program series began again Aug. 24 at the Encinitas Community Center. This time, Surfrider is teaming up with two water agencies in Encinitas (San Dieguito Water District and Olivenhain Municipal Water District) and the city of Encinitas Clean Water Program to highlight the multiple benefits of an Ocean Friendly Garden and assist homeowners in converting their yards to a natural and beautiful oasis. The program has hands-on components that will follow a Basics Class to apply what is learned to evaluate, redesign and transform an existing front yard and give participants an opportunity to practice in someone else’s yard before doing it at their home.
An Ocean Friendly Garden is an alternative to turf yards that conserves water and energy by utilizing plants native to the region, uses permeable paving and mulch so water can soak into the ground instead of running-off into the street, and captures rainwater for use or to recharge groundwater supplies.
At a minimum, a resident can expect to see at least a 50 percent savings in their water bill and can reduce polluted runoff by at least 70 percent — if not completely eliminate pollution from their landscape.
“We are thrilled with the success of the program, and we are excited to partner with water supply and water quality agencies who see the benefits to our communities and their customers,” said Belinda Smith, chapter spokesperson.
“Our calculations show that 80 percent of the water needed by a turf-centric landscape is saved by implementing an Ocean Friendly Garden” she said. “If residents harvest rainwater, and many of them do, then 100 percent of the landscape water can be saved because they’re using rainwater instead of tap water for the garden. A typical San Diego garden uses 30,000 gallons of water annually, if watered correctly. When changed, the same garden will use only 6,000 gallons, and even less if harvesting their own rainwater. Multiply this by the number of lawns in San Diego, and many, many communities could start saving a lot of water while eliminating a major source of pollution reaching our local beaches.”
“The program is expanding rapidly, and as it grows, Surfrider has found the need to have more and more landscape professionals qualified in this unique garden design and implementation,” Smith said. “Water conservation has never been sexy, but now that Surfrider is making it cool, it’s getting a lot more notice. Plus, there are rebates and resources to help people financially and otherwise after completing the first class. It has never been a better time to take advantage of these resources.”
To sign up or for more information about the Ocean Friendly Gardens program for residents, visit the Chapter’s Ocean Friendly Garden blog or web page at
http://ofg-sandiego.blogspot.com/ or www.surfridersd.org/ofg.php
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Contact them at www.surfriderSD.org, or at info@surfridersd.org.

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