Closed Sand Dune Areas
Marina Dunes Preserve - Completely closed to OHVs and mostly closed to
Location: Marina, California - From Seaside to Moss Landing.
Vehicles used to drive on the beach and dunes from Seaside to Moss Landing.
No less than a half-dozen sand mining operations dotted the shoreline in the
1950ís. By the 1960ís off-highway vehicle use had become a popular recreational
use of these dunes and coastline.
In 1975, Highway 1 was realigned to the coastline near Sand City.
Highway 1 used to run along North Freemont Blvd. in Seaside.
In the 1980's, North of Fort Ord, Highway 1 moved to the west of the
original alignment and bypasses Marina. The new highway was constructed
much closer to the beach and through many dunes. Low spots were filled in and
hills were leveled. Where once tall sand hills stood, now a leveled highway
Also in the 1980ís, sand mining was falling out of favor. The dunes were also, by this time, a known home for several
endangered species - particularly the western snowy plover. Slowly, mining
operations closed-down, and sites were abandoned.
Off-highway vehicle use was prohibited and much of the area is now closed
to foot traffic as well.
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District
Monterey Bay coastal dunes cover about 40 square miles and covered the
coastline from Seaside to Moss Landing.
Date of Closure:
The property for the Marina Dunes Preserve was purchased by the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District
Type of Closure: Permanent
Reason for Closure:
Private land was purchased and combined with public land to preserve
sensitive dune habitat.
The state also purchased land to build the Highway 1 bypass around Marina and
Seaside. The new highway alignment destroyed a lot of the dunes.
Historic Off-Highway Vehicle Use
Marina Dunes circa 1965
Marina Dunes - "Big Hill" (1967 - 1972)
Marina Dunes - "Grapevine Hill"
Marina Dunes - "Grapevine Hill" during the Highway 1 bypass
Marina Dunes circa 1970. Current day - Highway 1 on ramp at Reservation
Note: All photos used with permission from Gerard
Forgnone. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.
Endangered or Threatened Species:
Most of the preserve is off-limits to even foot traffic.
Invasive plant species (mostly ice plant) cover most of the area
Native plant restoration at the Marina Dunes Preserve - February 2007
Since the passage of the California Coastal Act in 1976, no
waterfront development has occurred on Monterey Bay, with the exception of Marina
Dunes Resort. Built just south of the Marina Dunes Preserve on the site of
what was previously a sand quarry that processed Monterey Bay sand, Marina Dunes
Resort is funding a permanent dunes restoration project as part of their
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