Cuesta Inlet in Los Osos has become such a popular launch site for canoes, kayaks and small sailboats in recent years that it’s now home to 286 boats.
Yet, with many of those boats now derelict or abandoned, the bayside area west of Sweet Springs Audubon Preserve has become an eyesore.
A cleanup effort, in conjunction with the California Coastal Cleanup Day, will be Saturday starting at 8 a.m.
Work will be spearheaded by members of the Grizzly Academy and volunteers with Celebrate Los Osos, a nonprofit group that’s been cleaning up and beautifying the town of some 14,000 since 2008.
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According to Pandora Nash-Karner, president of Celebrate Los Osos, Cuesta Inlet is private property that the owner has allowed to be used as a launch area.
However, in recent years, bay users have begun to store their trailers on the site — or simply abandon their boats.
“The use of Cuesta Inlet is with the permission of the owners as an accommodation to the community,” Nash-Karner explains, “and is subject to the owners’ control. Only those boats regularly in use will be allowed to remain at the inlet.”
There are four conditions bay users must meet:
Boats longer than 14 feet must be licensed with the state immediately.
Vessels shorter than 14 feet must have permanently placed contact information, including name and phone number, in a highly visible location on the craft.
Boats must be secured so they won’t float away at high tide or become damaged.
All trailers must be removed from the site.
The cleanup effort is the second of a two-pronged attack on the blight.
The first step occurred May 4 when notices to comply with the above points were attached to all of the boats and trailers.
“Most boats have not yet complied,” Nash-Karner said. “So, in cooperation with the land owners, county Code Enforcement, Sheriff’s Office and Fish and Game, all boats and trailers not complying will be moved to an impound area on site this Saturday. Those boats remaining will be sold or destroyed 30 days later.”
She added that owners of boats that have state registration CF numbers have either been contacted or will be.
If they don’t move their boats by Saturday, they’ll be on the hook to do so at their own expense after the cleanup.
How you can help
Those who would like to volunteer in the Cuesta Inlet cleanup should call Nash-Karner at 528-7014.