Founded in 1999, the Dunes Center is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. The Dunes Center was originally conceived by a group of concerned citizens and in 1989 The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to help preserve and restore the Guadalupe Beach and Oso Flaco Lake Natural Areas planted the seeds for a dunes visitor center. The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex is comprised of 18 miles of coastline and is one of the most ecologically significant and largest intact coastal dune ecosystems on earth. A significant portion of the nearly 22,000 acres is under public management and open for recreation.
The Dunes Center was finally opened in 1996, in a small storefront in downtown Guadalupe and evolved over time into our current existence. We have a thriving education program, reaching over 4000 students annually. We offer docent-led walks in the dunes. We have guest speakers for our volunteers, members, and local community. In addition, we are the Administrator of what is known as the Dunes Collarborative – a coalition of state and federal agencies, local governments and non-profits.