Dune Restoration and Dust Control

Oceano Dunes Protected Area

In early summer 2018, the Oceano Dunes State Park and the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District came to an agreement that established a five-year plan to improve air quality on the Nipomo Mesa. They hope to do this by reducing the emissions of fine-particle (10-micron diameter) dust that comes from the dunes. State Parks looked to its Resources department to carry this out, and the Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) Dunes crew was there to help take up the challenge. 

Progress Made

  • Of the 100 acres, 60 acres were covered by wind rows of wind fencing in 2018. 
  • 40 acres were revegetated through 2019, and in 2020 20 more acres were converted from wind fencing to vegetation.
  • In 2020, a landmark 48-acre foredune site was approved and restored with six experimental treatment methods ranging from seed-only, to straw and plant nodes, to the full coverage “Parks Classic” method. 
  • Since 2018, CSLRCD has coordinated with crews from Parks, the California Conservation Corps and the American Conservation Experience to spread more than 10,000 straw bales as mulch, to collect and spread more than 1100 pounds of native seed, and to propagate and plant more than 230,000 native plants across more than 120 acres. 
  • In early 2020, 40 more acres of seasonal wind fencing were added.
  • CSLRCD continues to  monitor the sand movement on these sites with the Desert Research Institute.

Funders:

CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Oceano Dune District

RCD Contact:

Jessica O’Neill, joneill@coastalrcd.org

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