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Photo of Surfriders Ocean Friendly Garden

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.

Volunteers at the ocean friendly garden


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.


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 Hawaii News Now about this garden.
Read the case study about Oahu’s OFG work here.

Volunteers at the ocean friendly garden

Before & After


Site selection in 2019

Before photo of dirt lot



after photo of flourishing garden

Heather Riley

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