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Oceano Dunes

Central Coast, California, USA

The Oceano Dunes are located near the San Joaquin Valley along California's Central Coast. These sand dunes are considered some of the most beautiful and extensive in the state. The extremely fine sand that creates sensual and immense peaks and valleys is a hallmark of a million-years process of wind erosion. These dunes were home to the Chumash Indians for thousands of years, and several parts of the dunes that still possess evidence of the Chumash are now protected lands, closed to visitors. Most anyone visiting the Oceano and Guadalupe Dunes for the first time are struck by their majesty and beauty. To stand at the foot of the dunes is to realize the impermanence of life and the superiority of Mother Nature over any manmade terrain. 

Just beyond the dunes, however, exists a different reality. The San Joaquin Valley hosts an agricultural and fossil fuel economy that dominates much of the land in the central coast. This economy supplies food to much of California and the nation, while the fossil fuel industry spews particulate matter into the fragile ecosphere of the Central Coast, endangering ocean, air, and human life. The valley faces several environmental challenges, such as some of the United States' worst air quality and contaminated drinking water. These images are my attempt to present nature as she persists in less than ideal circumstances. To learn more about the dunes, visit: 

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