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California State Parks fences off 48 acres at Oceano Dunes SVRA to meet January 1, 2020 air quality requirement

| Suzy Johnson | Access Issues
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) has taken an important step at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) to improve air quality conditions for nearby communities. On Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, State Parks began fencing off 48 acres around an area commonly referred to as the foredune area (Post 4-1/2 to Post 6) to meet a Jan. 1, 2020 San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) Stipulated Order of Abatement (SOA) deadline. It is important for the public to know that the department will be honoring all current reservations at the SVRA. Additionally, the off-highway vehicle riding area will not be impacted by the closure of the foredune area.

Supporting recreation at Oceano Dunes SVRA is important but balancing recreation, environmental and public health issues for all Californians is critical. State Parks has been working with the San Luis Obispo County APCD and the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG), comprised of dune geomorphologists and other scientists, to address air quality issues at the SVRA. The SAG recommended changes that they counseled are necessary to improve air quality.

At a Nov. 18, 2019 San Luis Obispo County APCD Hearing board meeting, board members voted to adopt an amended SOA, which included several action items for Oceano Dunes SVRA. The most impactful change is that effective Jan. 1, 2020 the foredune area (Post 4-1/2 to 6) will no longer be available for camping or vehicle activity.

State Parks’ approach and decisions have been informed by public engagements and in coordination with the California Coastal Commission and air quality experts. The State of California will continue collaborating with experts on how to further reduce air quality issues in the area and increase scientific understanding of the sources of dust, as well as create an effective monitoring system and establish regular reporting on air quality conditions.

Additionally, State Parks will be submitting a new Public Works Plan (PWP) for Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo State Beach to the California Coastal Commission. A PWP is a long range, land-use management plan for compliance with the California Coastal Act that is reviewed and certified by the California Coastal Commission. The PWP will document existing conditions and consider projects and management programs to improve access for motorized and non-motorized recreation opportunities, as well as develop policies and programs for Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo State Beach.

The public comment period for the latest PWP is currently open until Jan. 24, 2020. Based on feedback from the public and the California Coastal Commission, revised project concepts for the SVRA and state beach are being prepared and are expected to be available for public review and comment in summer 2020. To learn more about the PWP, please visit

Updates on the Foredune Project will be posted online at

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation. Learn more at

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