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Oceano Beach Community Association protests against dunes reopening to vehicles

OCEANO, Calif. – Dozens were gathered at the Oceano Dunes, protesting before the state park reopens to vehicle traffic Friday.

Many were wearing masks, physical distancing and followed COVID-19 protocols.

A group of concerned citizens named the Oceano Beach Community Association are not in favor of the dunes reopening to car access.

They say it prevents walkers, cyclists and others from enjoying the beach there.

Environmental concerns are being expressed as well.

Vehicle access has been closed since March to prevent crowds during the pandemic, and to allow snowy plovers to finish their nesting season.

State parks have been working with local and state officials to reopen under current health guidelines.

Phase one allows for just street legal cars.

Some local residents are not agreeing to this

“I would prefer to see the vehicles off the beach, if not, at least greatly reduced,” said Protester Dennis Eamon Young. "I know a lot of people like to be out with their vehicle but it gets dangerous. They don't pay attention to their regulations, people have died.”

Protesters in favor of reopening the dunes to vehicle traffic have also been demonstrating here in recent weeks.

Many want to be able to enjoy the dunes in their cars, and many nearby businesses have mentioned that there has been an economic impact from the shutdown.

Lifestyle / San Luis Obispo County

Karen Cruz-Orduna

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