Oceano Dunes has been a go-to destination for off-road vehicles for decades - but that may be changing soon.
The Central Coast beach area is now at the center of a community debate, with myriad residents saying that off-roading at the beach has environmental consequences, like endangering wildlife and contributing to worsening local air quality, and makes the beach unsafe for pedestrians.
As the Coastal Commission plans to start imposing restrictions on off-road vehicles at the beach, off-road enthusiasts and local residents continue to debate the same questions that are popping up around the state: Whose interests matter most when it comes to beach access?
*We reached out to the California Coastal Commission for an interview but they were unable to join due to scheduling conflicts.*
Violet Sage Walker, member of the Oceano Dunes alliance which is made up of ten local environmental organizations; vice chairwoman of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, the council for one of the local indigineous tribes near Oceano Dunes
Jim Suty, founder and president of the Friends of Oceano Dunes, a group of off-road enthusiasts and campers