Parking to be limited for crowd control at Snake River beach

April 18, 2013 

— Parking will be limited at a popular beach on the Snake River to prevent a repeat of the trashing of the Illia Dunes that occurred last year.

A weekend crowd of about 3,000 people in late August left behind thousands of pounds of trash at the beach near the Lower Granite Lock and Dam and along nearby roadways.

Starting in May the Illia Dunes parking will be limited to two nearby parking lots and parking will not be allowed on the adjacent Almota Ferry Road, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Limiting parking to the 120 spaces in the two parking lots should limit visitors to the beach to about 500 at a time, according to the Corps.

Alcohol consumption is not being banned, but glass containers and underage drinking is not allowed.

Free bags are provided for visitors to pack out their trash.

The Corps will monitor use of the area to see how well visitors keep glass containers off the beach, consume alcohol responsibly, obey bans on fireworks and use provided restrooms.

That will determine future use of the area, which is also a wildlife habitat management area, according to the Corps.

Last year the Corps had to close the area for a week-long cleanup effort by staff and volunteers, many of them Washington State University students.

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