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Seasonal beach restrictions for Vandenberg-area beaches to begin Mar. 1


SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Seasonal restrictions will begin Mar. 1 for Surf Beach and Ocean Park to protect the nesting habitat of the Western Snowy Plover.

Under the authority of the Endangered Species Act, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Biological Opinion tasks the Space Launch Delta 30 commander to enforce restrictions on all Vandenberg beaches between Mar. 1 and Sep. 30 to protect the small bird and their nests.

"During plover season, the general public can still access ½ mile of Surf Beach, but must be careful to
avoid the designated restricted areas,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Van Elsacker, the commander of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron. "Our goal is to maximize beach access for the local community, while still adhering to environmental requirements and safety measures."

Entry into posted restricted areas counts as a violation and you can be fined up to $5,000 in federal court. Violators of the Endangered Species Act, such as crushing eggs or chicks, can be fined up to $50,000 and imprisoned for up to one year.

Rhys Evans, the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron biological scientist explained, "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, but they are not allowed within the open section of Surf Beach during the plover nesting season."

The dapper small bird known as the western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) was officially listed as a threatened species on Mar. 5, 1993 under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
beach access restrictions
Endangered Species Act of 1973
Ocean Park
Santa Barbara
Surf Beach
Vandenberg space force base
Western Snowy Plover

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