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Oceano Dunes

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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 planned 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

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  • Oceano Dunes SVRA in its entirety is 5,000 acres, 800 acres of which are designated for off-highway vehicle use. Our main restoration efforts are within the off-highway vehicle area. For the 2022-2023 restoration season, 46 acres were restored. 
  • Straw is the first stage of the restoration process, aiming to temporarily stabilize sand movement before a more permanent solution can be initiated. For the 2022–2023 season, 35 acres were covered by straw using 4,280 bales of rice straw.
  • In 2022, five new project sites were re-vegetated in addition to four previous project sites that were supplementally planted. Within this area, 129,599 native plants were planted at a density of about 2,778 plants per acre. After planting, 522 pounds of native seed was distributed over the 46 acres at a density of about 10 pounds per acre.
  • In 2019 there were 49 acres revegetated; in 2020, 96 acres were revegetated; in 2021, 56 acres were revegetation; and in 2022, 46 acres were revegetated.  
  • Since 2018, CSLRCD has coordinated with California State Parks, California Conservation Corps, and the American Conservation Experience to spread more than 27,000 straw bales as mulch, to collect and spread more than 3,000 pounds of native seed, and to propagate and plant more than 647,000 native plants across more than 305 acres.

Funders: CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Oceano Dune District

RCD Contact: Samantha Alvarez,