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Oceano beach closed to vehicles


Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is closed to vehicles. Yesterday I walked, safe and undisturbed, the entire length of the beach and a good stretch of the dunes. Their vastness, peace, and beauty eased my pandemic anxiety for the time being. However, I also realized the extent of the destruction done by motorized recreation and the California State Parks off-highway vehicles division's efforts to control it and protect our natural resources. Miles of orange fence and barbed wire surround the Indian shell mitten, the snowy plovers' nesting area, the natural preserve, Arroyo Grande Creek, and several small islands of native vegetation: one cage after the other for miles. I felt like I was in a cage, too. Next to those miles of fence and wire lay a thick, black layer of incinerated wood, cardboard, plastic, and all kinds of trash, leftovers from thousands of careless campers. This could be a wonderful opportunity for State Parks to do a deep cleaning! Oceano beach and dunes are closed to vehicles, but open for day use between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. This might be your only chance to explore them, safe and undisturbed, and see for yourself the beauty and the ugliness. Please maintain social distance.

Lucia Casalinuovo


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