VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Vandenberg Air Force Base officials are closing popular Surf Beach for the summer because there have been too many violations of restrictions intended to protect snowy plovers, the tiny shorebirds that nest in the sand.
The snowy plover is federally listed as a threatened species, and only a certain number of violations are allowed.
Officials at the base on the Santa Barbara County coast say they are closing the public beach because of a responsibility to uphold the Endangered Species Act.
Beach restrictions are enforced each year on three Air Force beaches from March to September.
Air Force Col. Keith Balts says closing Surf Beach is necessary for the bird's growth during its "most vulnerable moments."
The closure will run from June 6 to Sept. 30.