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Ocean Friendly Garden

Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG)


is a program of the Surfrider Foundation. From transforming backyards into permaculture gardens to maintaining an 11,000 sq ft garden in Kakaʻako, these projects offer a direct solution to stormwater runoff, which is the #1 source of ocean pollution in urban areas.

At the Oʻahu Chapter, we also promote the importance of local food security by growing trees and plants that produce healthy, local, and organic food for our communities, such as ʻulu (breadfruit), maiʻa (bananas), kalo (taro), and more.

ocean friendly garden sign
1 Welcome to our Kakaʻako Ocean Friendly Garden!
storm drain at our OFG
2 Our garden is home to two storm drains. Our OFG helps to not only redirect stormwater runoff, but also cleans and filters it before it enters these storm drains that go directly into the ocean.
Drew planting keiki ʻulu
3 Through strong partnerships and our powerful activist network, the Kakaʻako OFG has grown from the keiki seedlings planted in 2019 to a thriving food forest today.
garden harvest
4 From medicinal plants and helpful herbs to delicious fruits and vegetables, our OFG grows a variety of edible organic produce available for our local community.
OFG volunteers
5 Our volunteers make this garden project possible and we are grateful for all the hands that a have helped to build out this space!


Our Kakaʻako Ocean Friendly Garden is an 11,000 square foot garden located across from the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). It is a lot donated to us from Kamehameha Schools where we are growing a large food forest and community gathering space. 

This garden has transformed from a  trash-filled lot into a beautiful thriving garden and a model for ocean protection and local food security.

Our garden applies CPR: Conservation Permeability & Retention

Ocean Friendly garden CPR sign

Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) revive our under-hydrated watersheds and polluted oceans by applying CPR – Conservation, Permeability, and Retention – to our landscapes and hardscapes:

  • C – Conserve water and wildlife habitats with native or climate-appropriate plants.

  • P – Permeable, living soil and hard surfaces that runoff to landscapes to filter pollutants, sponge up water for plants to tap into during dry months, and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  • R – Retain rain as the first source of irrigation.

Volunteers at the ocean friendly garden


Our garden is located at 210 Coral Street in Kakaʻako. Check out our events calendar for future garden workdays and workshops. Please contact our Garden Coordinator at with questions on how to get more involved!

Check out this article in Hawaiʻi News Now about our garden. You can also read this case study about Oʻahu’s OFG work.

Transforming an Urban Space

Then and Now

Searching for a suitable plot for our Ocean Friendly Garden in an urban area provide to be difficult at first. After community conceptualization and testing the soils at various sites in 2018, we broke ground on our OFG buildout in 2019. Since then, our OFG has evolved into the food forest you can see today in the heart of Urban Honolulu - an inviting green space open to all!

before our OFG buildout
after building out our OFG

This garden is also a memorial to Heather Riley, a volunteer and community member who loved to garden, play music, and create conscious events. Heather, her partner Gerrit, and their two friends died in a small plane crash in 2017. This mural was created by Hilari Rose to honor her life and is the focal point in our garden gathering space.

Photo of volunteers with the heather Riley mural