Isla Vista Chapter

Ocean Friendly Gardens

Isla Vista Compost Collective

The Ocean Friendly Gardens Committee of Isla Vista Surfrider founded Isla Vista Compost Collective (IVCC) in the Fall of 2017, with a goal of enabling more residents in Isla Vista to compost, while educating them on how to compost at the same time. We provide households with five-gallon buckets and composting guidelines. We allow every household to compost for a week, then we bike around IV with a cargo trailer and switch out the filled buckets with empty ones. All collected food product is brought to community compost piles and a bin serviced by MarBorg where it is sorted before being composted. After sorting through the compost, we text households what was composted incorrectly and how much weight they composted for a given week.

By the end of the 2018-2019 school year, IVCC expanded to serve 52 houses and diverted a total of 10,000 pounds of food waste out of landfills and into our community gardens! We hope to continue expanding our program to serve 100 houses by the fall of 2019. If you’re an Isla Vista resident and would like to compost with us, please sign up on our website ( and contact us through our Instagram or Facebook.

Also check out Surfrider Foundation’s article about our program from earlier this year!

Ocean Friendly Gardens

Urban runoff from gardens and hard surfaces is the #1 source of ocean pollution. In that runoff are pollutants such as:

• Pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and sediment (soil)

• Oil, engine exhaust and brake pad dust

• Dog poo… etc.

It can run off the property during rainstorms and during dry periods, with sprinklers overwatering and overshooting the landscape. In addition, the use of gas-powered equipment to mow lawns and prune and haul away over-planted and improperly spaced vegetation generates air pollutants – that eventually settle onto roofs and streets, and gets washed into waterways. This runoff also contributes to flooding of neighborhoods and erosion of stream banks.

But, gardens and hards surfaces can be beautiful, resourceful, wildlife-friendly and prevent runoff. How? Apply CPR to your garden – Conservation, Permeability and Retention © – to revive our watersheds and oceans:

• Conservation of water, energy, and habitat through native plants add some climate-adapted plants, spaced for mature growth (the same applied to vegetable and fruit gardens).

• 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 season or store it to water veggies, preventing it from running off of the property.