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Annual beach restrictions to begin at Surf Beach, Ocean Park

Surf Beach
Posted at 8:29 AM, Feb 26, 2022

Beach restrictions will be put into place once again at Surf Beach and Ocean Park starting next week.

The restrictions on Vandenberg Space Force Base property happen every year as part of an ongoing effort to protect the Western Snowy Plover and its nesting habitat.

The restrictions at all Vandenberg beaches are required from March 1 through Sept. 30 under the Endangered Species Act for the plovers.

"During plover season, the general public can still access much of Surf Beach, but must be careful to avoid the designated restricted areas,” said Col. Rob Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander in a press release. "Our goal is to maximize beach access for the local community, while still adhering to environmental requirements and safety measures. If everyone does their part, I believe we can protect the snowy plover while we enjoy our beautiful coastline."

People who go into the restricted areas could be fined up to $5,000 and anyone found violating the Endangered Species Act, which includes crushing eggs or chicks, could face fines of up to $50,00 and up to a year in jail.

"Violations will be counted, however Vandenberg is committed to keeping sections of Surf Beach open to allow the public to enjoy," said Rhys Evans 30th Civil Engineer Squadron biological scientist. "A trail is available for all to enjoy between Surf Beach and Ocean Park behind the restricted nesting area. Leashed dogs can be taken on that trail by entering from Ocean Park; but are not allowed within the open section of Surf Beach during the plover nesting season."

Dogs, horses and flying kites are not allowed on the beach during the nesting season.