Surf Beach closed due to snowy plover restriction violations

Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 10, 2018

Surf Beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base is closed for the remainder of the Western snowy plover nesting season.

This comes after the beach exceeded 50 violations of the restrictions put in place to protect the threatened species.

Beach restrictions include no dogs, horses or kites, and no access to "off limit" areas of the beach. The restrictions are in place at Wall and Minuteman beaches, as well, and in effect from March 1 through Sept. 30. They are intended to protect the birds’ nesting habitat.

Surf Beach is scheduled to reopen on Oct. 1, 2018. Wall and Minuteman beaches remain open. However, Wall has already had three violations and Minuteman has had seven violations. Each is allowed 10 violations per season.

Violators who are caught can be fined up to $5,000. Crushing eggs or chicks, which is a violation of the Endangered Species Act, can result in fines up to $50,000 and possible prison time.