A shocking video has surfaced online showing massive amounts of debris in the Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve.
Clark D’Souza posted the video, outraged at the condition of the dunes. The 12-minute long video, which includes some profanity, shows several homeless encampments, hundreds of bicycles which have been stripped down, and piles of trash.
“Look, they’re stealing bikes, they’re stripping them down,” D’Souza said in the video.
Residents of the Oceano neighborhood off Strand Way are aware they have some neighbors living beneath the brush.
“This is the homeless highway,” said Tom Riley, who has lived in Oceano for about 14 years.
Neighbors report homeless individuals scrounging through trash or making themselves at home in their front yards, but some don’t mind.
“They know me, they don’t mess with me,” said Riley.
Others say they’ve had to up security measure surrounding their home after reported break-ins.
State Parks Chief Ranger Kevin Pearce says they’re aware of the issue.
“It’s a public safety issue. We don’t want trash, human waste, and other litter associated with these activities to make its way into the watershed,” Pearce added.
His department has been planning for a large-scale clean-up for months, but there are logistical concerns.
“Our biggest obstacle is access to the area,” Pearce said. “It’s an environmentally sensitive habitat, so I don’t have access for trucks and heavy equipment to get in there and remove some of the debris.”
Pearce says he would also need a bigger labor force. It’s about to be peak season for park rangers. Pearce says he can’t just pull his entire operation for a day to address the issue, but they’re working towards a solution. State Parks will plan to work with other agencies such as California Fish and Wildlife and the Coastal Commission to draft a plan moving forward.
As for the hundreds of bikes that are seen in the video, no one seems to know where they come from or what they’re being used for.