Sonoma County beaches to open

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (June 2, 2020):

Sonoma County’s coastline is finally opening up, its beaches and trails beckoning inland visitors for the first time formally since health officials imposed stay-home orders back in March.

Sonoma County’s Doran, Stillwater and Gualala Point regional parks, including parking areas and restrooms, will reopen to the public on Wednesday. State parks on the coast and beaches will follow by Saturday, once a few logistical matters can be dealt with, officials said.

“I think we could be ready and open sometime Friday, or certainly by the weekend,” said Terry Bertels, California State Parks district superintendent for the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast.

Work crews still have to remove about 100 large cement blocks placed along the Sonoma Coast before Memorial Day in parking areas and turnouts to discourage visitors from flouting the park closure. That will take about two days, Bertels said.

In the meantime, Sonoma County Health Officer Sundari Mase said park users have demonstrated sufficient willingness to abide by masking and social distancing requirements to persuade her to take the next step.

“Reopening the beaches is a milestone for our community. We know many people have waited patiently for this day,” said Bert Whitaker, director of Sonoma County Regional Parks. “We’re committed to keeping coastal parks open this summer, and we appreciate the public’s support for health guidelines that are meant to protect us all.”

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