November 27, 2020

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Ocean Beach Park estuary to reopen for public recreation in October | Local News

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The push to reopen the estuary came in January after city leaders successfully convinced state, county...

The push to reopen the estuary came in January after city leaders successfully convinced state, county and federal government officials not to close Surf Beach after a certain number of trespassing violations into the snowy plover’s nesting area.

The snowy plover is a small bird that nests at the beach and is classified as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Vandenberg Air Force Base, which owns Surf Beach, monitors the coastline in an effort to protect the species.

With the estuary reopening, Mosby now is seeking approval for people to fish from the beach and to reestablish a boat ramp at the park. 

Lompoc officials in January penned a letter to George Chapjian, director of the county’s community services department, asking for the construction of a new boat ramp. 

Talk of the boat ramp was raised during a meeting in July 2019 near Surf Beach, which was coordinated by the California Coastal Commission and included several government agencies, including the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to Mosby.

A month before the meeting, Mosby collected roughly 3,000 signatures from local residents showing interest in the ramp, which would allow only nonmotorized vehicles, such as kayaks or paddleboards. 

Chapjian declined to comment for this story, according to a spokeswoman. 

Lompoc officials in January also penned a letter to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, requesting a modification of the Vandenberg Marine Preserve, a 33-square-mile area established in 2007 to protect marine species, to allow fishing from the beach. 

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