BIG NEWS: We are an Ocean Friendly Garden!

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The deWitt Cottage Garden Club has been hard at work and their efforts are paying some big dividends. In July 2021 we were recognized by The Surfrider Foundation as an Ocean Friendly Garden. So what exactly does it mean to be an ocean friendly garden? 

Ocean Friendly Gardens is Surfrider’s sustainable landscaping and education program that provides beautiful, inexpensive and natural solutions to the problems caused by stormwater and urban runoff. Local Chapters use this program to make the connection between how we care for our yards and public spaces and the health of our local waterways and beaches. 

Polluted runoff is the #1 cause of beach closures and swim advisories! Stormwater and urban runoff pollute beaches and coastal waterways with bacteria, road dust and oil, agricultural and landscaping chemicals, trash, and other debris and waste. Severe flooding during rain events can also cause sewage infrastructure failures, making recreational waters unsafe for human contact. Inadequate wastewater treatment and traditional landscaping practices that depend on chemicals are also wreaking havoc on coastal and fresh water ecosystems by overloading waterways with nutrients, fueling toxic algae blooms and harming coral reef habitat. Lawns are also big water wasters. Over 7 billion gallons of drinkable, freshwater is used for landscape irrigation every year in the US, and almost half is wasted and becomes runoff! 

Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFGs) apply CPR to revive healthy watersheds and protect clean water. 

  • Conservation. Reduce outdoor water demand & provide wildlife habitat 
  • Permeability. Build healthy, living soil to sponge up water and filter out pollutants 
  • Retention. Store rainwater in the landscape to rehydrate watersheds and local water supplies Whether you live inland or at the beach, your yard is a mini-watershed to apply CPR to protect clean water. We all live upstream of the ocean! 

For more information: https://vb.surfrider.org/programs/ofg/ or email ofg@virginia.surfrider.org. 

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