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Protect Oceano Dunes from Destructive Off-Highway Vehicle Use

03 • 18 • 2021

Protect Oceano Dunes from Destructive Off-Highway Vehicle Use

Help the Surfrider SLO Chapter protect the Guadalupe / Oceano Dunes from continued degradation from off-road vehicles


On March 18th, in a historic decision, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to phase out Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use at Oceano Dunes in three years, saving nature and allowing peaceful use of the beach.

Coastal Commission staff had originally recommended commissioners phase out off-road vehicle access over the next five years and close State Parks’ Pier Avenue entrance by July 1, 2021. Commissioners amended the recommendation, shortening the timeline for banning off-roading from five years to three years, and closing the Pier Avenue entrance July 1, 2022. The decision also included amendments that nighttime vehicular use will be prohibited except in camping sections in the park unless restricted by other prohibitions. 

Thank you for your support, making this landmark victory possible! 


The California Coastal Commission is hosting a special hearing on March 18 to decide the fate of Oceano Dunes and Pismo State Beach. 

Join the Surfrider SLO Chapter in urging commissioners to stop allowing off-road vehicles to destroy the dune and beach habitats at Oceano Dunes and Pismo State Beach and instead bring State Park’s operations into compliance with the Coastal Act. 

Send a message to CA Coastal Commissoners by clicking HERE

The Surfrider SLO Chapter is concerned with continued degradation of the Guadalupe / Oceano Dunes at the hands of California’s OHMVRD. Impacts
from ODSVRA adversely affect the health of our community and our county’s environmentally sensitive habitat. 

Sign the action alert HERE

For decades CA State Parks has failed to enforce its own rules and regulations, and the community and creatures have been paying the price: the area has some of the worst air quality in the nation and dune buggies regularly crush snowy plovers under their tires while tearing up the dunes. Additionally, the people who live in Oceano are unable to enjoy the sort of restorative recreational experience most of us take for granted in California due to their beach being, in essence, a highway. 

At their meeting last July, the Coastal Commission decided to give Parks one more year to complete their public works plan – which must incorporate all the recommendations – and return it to the Commission for approval. 

Surfrider SLO is a member of the Dunes Alliance, a coalition of community and environmental organizations active on the California Central Coast and dedicated to the safe and environmentally-sustainable use and enjoyment of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex, which stretches from Pismo Beach to Point Sal and includes the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and the Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area.

Surfrider SLO encourages State Parks OHMVR Division to implement the following changes to the ODSVRA:

  • Only governmental motor vehicles allowed to operate in the park
  • Pier and Grand Ave entrances closed to non-governmental vehicles and beach/dunes restored at those locations
  • Preservation of Oso Flaco as a nature reserve
  • Enhancement of light-footprint recreational opportunities (e.g. hiking, tent camping, surfing, sandboarding, birdwatching, etc.)
  • Restoration of foredunes, dune vegetation, and healthy beach and dune environment
  • Enhanced protection of culturally- and environmentally-sensitive areas and wildlife.

Oceano Dunes can and should become the environmental gem that’s now hidden beneath tire tracks.

For more information visit Surfrider SLO Chapter's campaign page HERE