San Luis Obispo Chapter

oceano

Protect Oceano Dunes

Act Now to Protect the Dunes

Surfrider SLO is a member of the Dunes Alliance, a coalition of community and environmental organizations active on the California Central Coast and dedicated to the safe and environmentally-sustainable use and enjoyment of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex, which stretches from Pismo Beach to Point Sal and includes the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and the Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area.

Latest News

On March 18, 2021, the Coastal Commission ordered the following; to change the permit for Oceano Dunes SVRA to require a closure of the SVRA by 2024, the closure of the Pier Avenue entrance by July 2022, and a closure of the Arroyo Grande Creek when it rains. Due to lawsuits brought by OHV organizations, the closure of Pier Avenue is being postponed while the lawsuits against the Coastal Commission are being decided by the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. State Parks also agreed to allow camping and OHV recreation at the Oceano Dunes SVRA, and to stop crossing at the creek only if water levels in the creek reached 12 inches.

Public Comments

Surfrider SLO encourages State Parks OHMVR Division to implement the following changes to the ODSVRA:

  • Only governmental motor vehicles allowed to operate in the park
  • Pier and Grand Ave entrances closed to non-governmental vehicles and beach/dunes restored at those locations
  • Preservation of Oso Flaco as a nature reserve
  • Enhancement of light-footprint recreational opportunities (e.g. hiking, tent camping, surfing, sandboarding, birdwatching, etc.)
  • Restoration of foredunes, dune vegetation, and healthy beach and dune environment
  • Enhanced protection of culturally- and environmentally-sensitive areas and wildlife.

Oceano Dunes can and should become the environmental gem that’s now hidden beneath tire tracks.

Past News

6/24/2020 – The public had an opportunity to share comments with the California Ocean Protection Council in an effort to protect the Oceano Dunes from offroading vehicular access.

Snowy Plover populations are beginning to thrive, and residents can access the coast safely. Therefore, we encourage the public to submit comments and speak up about protecting your favorite local landmarks. See the current comments below.

Public Comments

May 24 2020 – Surfrider SLO does not support vehicular recreation as an appropriate use within Environmentally Sensitive Habitat of Oceano Dunes. The threat of vehicles striking or harassing marine mammals or protected species amongst other local concerns can be reduced or avoided with consideration of alternative access to Oceano Dunes.

In the letter to the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) we ask for their organization to provide “Robust alternatives analysis” on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Oceano Dunes District Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). We request that all guidelines are consistent with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Pictures from November 29, 2019: Oceano Dunes near Arroyo Grande Creek

March 2020 – At the March 2020 California Coastal Commission (CCC) meeting, Oceano Dunes advocate and volunteer, Jennifer, spoke in support of the dunes and ensuring the laws protecting the dunes are followed.

Protection of the foredunes and their multiple benefits should be a priority for the State Park and the CCC. However, off-roading recreational activities are not restricted and continue to harm the dunes fragile ecosystems. Stay in touch for further updates and action alerts!

See 00:28:00 for Jennifer’s comments to protect the dunes: https://cal-span.org/unipage/?site=cal-span&owner=CCC&date=2020-03-13

Read our January letter on the latest PWP concepts here.