Design Elements: Conservation, Permeability, and Retention

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Manhattan Beach Strand - Ocean Friendly Garden Principles

Ocean Friendly Gardens apply CPR: Conservation, Permeability, and Retention to revive our watersheds and oceans.

  • Conservation of water, energy, and habitat through climate-adapted plants, spaced for mature growth. 
  • Permeability through healthy, biologically active soil, and utilizing materials for, or making a cut in, driveways, walkways, and patios that allow water to percolate into the soil. 
  • Retention devices like rain chains, rain barrels, and rain gardens retain water in the soil for the dry seasons or save it to water vegetables, preventing it from running off the property.

Elements of this garden design include:

  • Climate appropriate plants: Plant palette to be exclusively California Native plants. Plants will provide food and habitat for native butterflies, birds, and bees. 
  • Site Grading and Infiltration Areas: The soil of the site is to be graded into subtle mounds and depressions, evocative of waves, with massings of plants following the contour and accentuating the grading. This manipulation of the ground plane allows for rainwater to infiltrate locally, for use by plant root systems, as well as percolate into the groundwater in the infiltration areas. No surface runoff is to be directed to impermeable surfaces or piped unfiltered into the ocean. 
  • Wood Mulch: Install 3”-4” shredded bark mulch for water conservation. 
  • Healthy Soil: Biological testing and compost tea application for living soil. 
  • Boulders and Gravel: Local boulders, if possible. 
  • Recycled Broken Concrete: To be obtained locally, if possible, for use in retaining soil around infiltration areas. 
  • Drip Irrigation: For application directly to each plant, reducing evaporation and overspray. 
  • Smart Controller: Determines ET rate and adjusts irrigation volume and frequency accordingly.

You can learn more about these types of gardens, and other projects in the region, by visiting the Surfrider Ocean Friendly Gardens website.

Strand Garden

The Green Gardens Group (G3) has developed a draft site design, including drainage and grading plans, to help visualize the new demonstration garden for the Strand landscape. G3 has also created an initial California native plant list to highlight the plant specimens that will be included in this ocean-friendly garden.

 Please direct questions to the City's Public Works Department at (310) 802-5313.

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