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Local News

UCSB Police Beef Up Plover Protection at Ellwood, Coal Oil Point

Leash-law violators face possible warnings or citations.

Beginning Sunday, dog walkers out at Coal Oil Point and Ellwood Beach will have to be more careful about keeping their pets on leashes.

UCSB announced that as of March 1, campus police will be stationed in the area, in an effort to maintain the leash law and protect the threatened snowy plovers that nest in the dunes. The new plover patrol is an addition to the university’s efforts to keep dogs from harassing the birds. Currently there are signs posted and docents who monitor the shore. Violators may receive warnings or citations.

In 2006, the state Coastal Commission banned dogs and horses at the beach of the Coal Oil Point Reserve in an effort to protect the snowy plover. UCSB received approval for an alternative plan allowing dogs on the beach if the Santa Barbara County leash law was actively enforced, UCSB said in a statement Thursday.

“The university hopes that this final phase will demonstrate that dogs do not have to be prohibited from the beach in the future,” said Cristina Sandoval, director of the Coal Oil Point Reserve, which is part of the UC Natural Reserve System.

“UCSB greatly appreciates the collaboration and support from beach users and dog owners, and is committed to finding a balanced management solution that ensures environmental protection and recreation on the beach,” she said.

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