Restrictions are now in place at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Surf, Wall and Minuteman beaches in an effort to protect the endangered Western Snowy Plover and its nesting habitat.
The seasonal restrictions began Monday and last through Sept. 30.
"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. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing 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."
A portion of Surf Beach will remain open for recreational access.
“Violations will continue to be counted and staying out of posted restricted areas is critical to ensuring public beach access. Together we can protect Surf Beach for current and future generations in our local community," said Samantha Kaisersatt, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron biological scientist in a press release. "A trail is available to walk between Surf Beach and Ocean Park behind the restricted nesting area for all to enjoy and plans are in place to construct a permanent boardwalk in the near future."
People found entering a restricted beach area can be fined up to $5,000 and those who violate the Endangered Species Act of crushing eggs or chicks can face fines of up to $50,000 in federal court or jail time of up to one year.
Dogs, horses and kites are also restricted from the beach.
Wall and Minuteman beaches are open from sunrise to sunset and Surf Beach is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.