Help Save Sunset Cliffs From Disappearing

by on September 18, 2012 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights

Surfrider to Hold Ocean Friendly Garden Workshops

By San Diego Surfrider

Point Loma residents are invited to attend a series of workshops to learn how to curb erosion caused by storm water runoff along the scenic Sunset Cliffs Natural Park by modifying their landscaping to absorb more rain water.

The workshops are fun and engaging, and when the lessons are put into practice, will help preserve the beautiful blufftop park and public open space that make the Sunset Cliffs a uniquely beautiful asset for San Diego.

Last year the park at Sunset Cliffs was named one of the top five disappearing places alongside Florida’s Everglades by Wanderlust . The San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been working diligently to preserve this local treasure. The cornerstone of those efforts is the foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program aimed at educating residents on what they can do to protect the bluffs from devastating erosion.

Impervious hard surfaces typical of urban development increase the speed of runoff, which picks up oils, bacteria and other pollutants as it rushes down hill to the ocean. The fast-moving runoff not only transports contaminated water, it causes excessive erosion of the fragile bluffs.

The upcoming three-part Ocean Friendly Gardens workshop series will offer residents information on how to slow, spread and sink rainwater on their own properties. “It’s a great way for homeowners to gain water independence, and leverage the rainwater resources that typically escape our gardens in the form of runoff. Everyone likes to do their part. This series of classes teaches them how,” said Susan Krzywicki, Chair of the Program.

The San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will begin its Ocean Friendly Gardens workshop series with a Basics Course on Monday, October 8th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Point Loma Nazarene University, kicking off a three-part series on the economic, environmental and practical benefits of Ocean Friendly Gardens to homeowners and the community.

   The Ocean Friendly Gardens workshop series will be made up of three events:

  •  The Basics Class on Monday, October 8th from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm at Point Loma Nazarene University
  •  The Hands On Workshop (HOW) November 4th from 9 am- 12 pm (location to be announced, in the Sunset Cliffs area)
  •  The Garden Assistance Party (GAP) January 13th from 9:30 am-3:30 pm (location to be announced, in the Sunset Cliffs area)

One lucky attendee of the Basics Class will be selected to have their front yard re-done to meet the program’s criteria as part of a large volunteer effort. Space is limited so sign up early! The entire Ocean Friendly Gardens program is $30 for all three events; an Ocean Friendly Gardens textbook can be purchased for an additional $10. Participants can register at:

“Most people don’t understand that they can help control erosion in their own neighborhood,” said Shauna McKellar, a Surfrider volunteer, and member of the Ocean Friendly Gardens committee. “We want people to make the connection between their coastal property and the bottom of the hill when it rains. Everyone can play a part in preserving the coast by making their landscape ocean-friendly.”

Go to Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens Campaign; for more on the San Diego County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Swink September 19, 2012 at 8:23 am

This is an educational program that’s needed all along the California Coast! At Sunset Cliffs (Garbage Beach), I have often observed the bluff face “weeping” onto the beach even when there hasn’t been rain for weeks or months, aggravating the natural bluff erosion from waves and weather. And the water doesn’t just flow down the surfaces of the property and streets, it flows downhill underground as well, and adds to the natural stresses that cause sections of the bluff to collapse, especially where there’s a less permeable layer of soil or clay below the surface.

For surfers and swimmers, this is also an important means to reducing the “non-point source” pollution from lawn and gardening chemicals and street pollutants. Good for Surfrider for initiating these programs. Hopefully, they’ll repeat them in the OB/Pt. Loma community so that anyone who can’t attend this one will be able to catch another one later on.


Lyle Belelr September 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

This class will provide knowledge of something we can do as individuals to reduce ocean pollution, rather than waiting for the government to do something.


rocky September 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

your fighting an endless battle the cllifs are going to fall no matter what you do you cant fight mother nature


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