Paul Herzog works for Surfrider Foundation and is the National Coordinator for their Ocean Friendly Garden Program. The LA Stormwater Program recently caught up with Paul to discuss the program he oversees and glean a little insight on how to make our yards and gardens friendlier to our waterways.

LA Stormwater: Hi Paul! Can you explain how exactly runoff from gardens impact local water quality?

Paul Herzog: Runoff is the number one source of pollution in our local creeks, rivers and oceans. Water running off landscapes from sprinkler overspray or rain gutters directed to the driveway gets into the street gutters and is carried to ocean. It takes with it landscape chemicals and fertilizers, pollutants from car exhaust and oil, dog poop and other stuff. People that swim in these waters may get sick. We’re told that we are supposed to stay out of the ocean for 72 hours after a storm – but that’s often the best time to surf. This can affect the economy. If the ocean near where we live or where people want to vacation is thought to be polluted, many may simply stay away. People may also decide not to eat locally-caught fish.

Maintaining an Ocean Friendly Garden at home, work More >