Green Streets Pilot Program Ventura California

Rain Garden Green Street Ocean Friendly Garden Pilot Program

Native Californians planting California natives

Nothing like stormwater runoff stories to get the heart pounding. I just wrote a barn burner for the Ventura Breeze.  I attached a PDF. If you open it and only see one or two giant letters per screen, zoom out to 100%. Want to see all the salacious details my editor inadvertently forgot to print? It’s all here including contact information for several of the folks that made this project happen. Can’t wait to dig in to this award winning, Pullitzer nominated article on Ocean Friendly Gardens? Here’s the link:

What is a Rain Garden

Surf’s up but don’t even think about it. After a big rain storm, especially that first big one. If you do you’ll be surfing in nine months of bird poop backlog. That’s one of the nicer things you’ll discover on your paddle out. Here’s what you’ll need: your head examined. Chronic Surfers Itch is rare. Surfers decide real quick just how to strike the right balance between surfing fun and what the hell is that!.

Of course it’s a serious problem. Ventura’s  intractable storm runoff pollution inflicts serious damage. So much so that California levies serious fines every time cities pollute the ocean or any waterway. If testing shows water pollution cities pay and the more you pollute the more you pay in punitive fines .

I don’t know the exact amount. I think a council member said a quarter million dollars a year.

There are very few basic engineering problems that  can’t be solved by money. There are very few real estate problems that money can’t solve but when you start adding up the costs paying millions in fines begins to look different.

The state collects fines from Imperial Beach to Crescent City.  Some of the fines fund research grants as cities search for feasible solutions. In Ventura Surfrider Foundation and G3 Green Garden Group teamed up with Jill Sarick to conduct a pilot program called Ocean Friendly Gardens.

I saw about a hundred people over the course of the day, some were getting dirty and the rest were offering moral support.

I apologize in advance for the many volunteers that deserve recognition here but who’s good deeds I missed.

You can see the turf parkway turned bioswale in front of Dan’s house on San Nichols Street between Chrisman and MacMillan Avenues. Look for the small signs announcing an officially recognized Ocean Friendly Garden.

A partial list of those involved:

Paul Herzog: Surfrider Foundation – Ocean Friendly Gardens Program – National Coordinator,

Jill Sarick : Environmental Coordinator, City of Ventura,  Public Works Department,

Pamela Berstler: Educator, Speaker, & Sustainable Exterior Designer,

Kate Riley: Inner Landscape Design, email kate@innerlandscape

Tom Rau: Landscape Architect, Check out his portfolio at:

Renee Roth, Green Garden Educator, G3 Group Regional Coordinator Ventura/Santa Barbara Counties, email

Jeff Zimmerman, Zdwellings Green Building & Remodeling, (805) 208-9357