After listening to testimony of proponents and critics of State Parks five-year plan to control dust from the Ocean Dunes, the California Coastal Commission approved plans to close 20 acres to off-road vehicles and to install more wind fencing.
Dressed in red, Nipomo Mesa residents supported increased efforts to reduce dust blowing from the dunes including limiting the number of days the park is open to off-road vehicles. Several residents spoke of ongoing health issues they believe are caused by vehicles kicking up sand.
Dressed in blue, off-road vehicle enthusiasts and some local business owners opposed the five-year plan. Proponents of the off-road park argued that the plan will not stop wind from blowing sand from the dunes onto the Nipomo Mesa. Others voiced concerns over the negative economic impact reduction of the dunes could have on the county.
It is estimated the park’s total yearly economic impact is about $171 million, according to a study commissioned by State Parks.
After listening to public comment, the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the first steps of State Parks’ five-year plan to control dust from the Oceano Dunes.