Pixel Tracker

Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 12:41 pm | A Few Clouds 63º


Surf Beach Closed to Protect Threatened Shore Bird

Surf Beach west of Lompoc has been closed down as a result of too many access violations during the breeding season of the threatened western snowy plover, Vandenberg Air Force Base officials announced Tuesday.

“The closure is intended to refocus attention on the rules, emphasize that they are not optional, and that violations carry real consequences for not only violators, but also impacts those who follow the rules,” according to a statement issued by the 30th Space Wing at the base.

Portions of Vandenberg’s beaches, including Wall, Surf and Minuteman, close March 1 through Sept. 30 every year to aid in the recovery of the western snowy plover, a shorebird listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Vandenberg has been entrusted with the protection of this threatened species,” said Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing commander. “Just like with our launch mission, safety is our number one priority.

“We must ensure that the western snowy plover has a safe habitat and that means that our beachgoers have to respect the rules and behave as good environmental ambassadors in order to keep our beaches open for recreational activities.”

Just like the current situation at Surf Beach, if any of Vandenberg’s beaches reaches its limit of violations, all sections of the beach will be off-limits to the public until Sept. 30. The maximum beach access violations are 10 for Minuteman Beach, 10 for Wall Beach and 50 for Surf Beach.

Failure to comply with restrictions is a violation of federal law, and may result in fines and penalties. Fines can reach up to $50,000 and penalties can amount to more than one year in jail.

Docents and beach patrol will continue monitoring the area.

For more information about Surf Beach’s closure or to report violators on any of Vandenberg’s beaches, call the conservation office at 805.606.6804, or the law enforcement desk at 805.606.3911.

For more information about the western snowy plover, call the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Natural Resources Office at 605-0392.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >