Oceano Dunes closure could cost county millions each year

By CCT STAFF

The director of California State Parks agreed on Monday to permanently shut down approximately half of the camping area and about 5 percent of the riding area at the Oceano Dunes, at an Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board meeting.

State Parks Director Lisa Manga agreed to close down approximately 50 acres near the shoreline to reduce air pollution blowing towards Nipomo. As part of an abatement order, the state will fence off the area by the end of the year.

In the spring, the state agreed to plant native vegetation in the fenced off area.

For years, some Nipomo residents have complained about dust blowing from the dunes, which they blame on vehicles riding on the sand.

On the other side, supporters of driving on the dunes point at the economic impact and question the accuracy of the studies the air board is relying on to shut down the camping area.

The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area has an economic impact to SLO County of approximately $244 million a year, according to a 2016/2017 economic impact report. Of that, $221 million is related to overnight visitors.

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2 Comments about “Oceano Dunes closure could cost county millions each year”

  1. seeker says:

    Time to shut up shop and move somewhere else, if for no other reason than the sheer stupidity of this decision. All the more reason to recall the Grover Beach City Council and Adam Hill who have sniggered for the last seven years that they have no wish to shut down the dunes.

    The shoreline, which is nearly always damp, does not (cannot!) create sand particulate! That’s why there is not a particulate problem in Pismo or Grover Beach – because they are shoreline areas. Lisa Manga should be renamed Lisa Monster. And since when has CAMPING ever caused a particulate problem? And is there ANY evidence to show that there has EVER been natural vegetation in the areas they plan to ‘revegetate?’ Nope. None.

    The tourism industry has just started showing a downward trend in California, Mexico, and Hawaii. Lisa Monster’s decision along with the new onerous and expensive Short Term Rental policies of the City of Grover Beach are ringing a death knell for our economy. This along with Grover’s highest tourism taxes in the County and refusal to follow other County cities and reinvest the 13% tourism taxes collected to support their tourism-dependent businesses will ring in a local recession unlike any we have known.

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