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The Oceano beach death is on the ODSVRA 

On Jan. 10, 2024, a man was found dead on the beach at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA) by State Parks rangers. The next day his car was found in the ocean. On Jan. 11, New Times published a letter by Oceano resident Mary Martin: "State Parks take risks in Oceano."

What else should I add? State Parks allowed people with their cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles to drive on Oceano Beach, cross the Arroyo Grande Creek, and camp during a bad weather alert and king tides. To be sure, State Parks had positioned a sign waring about the hazardous conditions, telling people to drive on the beach at their own risk.

Does the warning absolve State Parks of this death? No! This man took the risk because the beach was open. If it had been closed to vehicles, he would not have died. Other state parks and trails close when conditions are bad. But not Oceano beach. Our beach is where people are left on their own and die because it is managed by the Off- Highway Vehicle Division of State Parks. As Mary Martin said: The fox is guarding the hens.

The ODSVRA is such a burden on our community and, legally, it doesn't even include the beach, but its users feel entitled to drive on it to get there. This death is on the ODSVRA. No wonder its management kept it hidden for so long. Close the ODSVRA now!

Lucia Casalinuovo


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