POMEROY, Wash. – Typical summer weekend visitation at Illia Dunes, a popular area near Lower Granite Lock and Dam on the lower Snake River, is 100 to 300 visitors, with up to 2,000 visitors on long holiday weekends or just before school begins in late summer. After an unexpected Aug. 25-26, 2012, weekend crowd of about 3,000 Illia Dunes visitors left behind thousands of pounds of trash, broken glass, foam coolers and other litter on the beach and along three miles of road ditch, the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no choice but to temporarily close the “Dunes” on Aug. 27 last year until it was safe again for visitors. The Dunes reopened on Sunday, Sept. 2, after a week-long cleanup effort by Corps staff and volunteers, just prior to the Monday Labor Day holiday. At that time, the Corps announced it would review options for maintaining public safety and health at Illia Dunes during the 2013 recreation season. To maintain safety, beginning in May this year, the Corps plans to limit Illia Dunes parking to two nearby Corps parking lots only. No public parking will be allowed on the adjacent 50-mph speed limit Almota Ferry Road as in past years.