• Scenic View from Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island ©timhaufphotography.com

    Channel Islands

    National Park California

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Coastal Resources


Surrounded by the sea, each of the Channel Islands is fringed by miles of coastal beaches, dunes, wetlands, lagoons, caves, and rocky intertidal areas. The protected shores of Channel Islands National Park host some of the most well-preserved examples of these different kinds of coastal habitats remaining in California.

These borderlands offer a unique mix of essential terrestrial and aquatic habitats for mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates to feed, rest, and reproduce. Despite their relatively good condition, and the resilience of the creatures that live there, the park’s coastal habitats are still vulnerable to human impacts like trampling, harvest, invasive species, and pollution.

The importance of these habitats, and their vulnerability to these kinds of threats, prompted Channel Islands National Park to start a long-term rocky intertidal monitoring program in 1982. The park also monitors the population dynamics of important beach and lagoon organisms like sand crabs, beach hoppers, olive snails, and Pismo clams, as well as the amount of beach wrack available for shelter and foraging, and the general physical cycles of the coastal lagoons on Santa Rosa Island.

Did You Know?

Bechers Bay coastline on Santa Rosal Island

Although the park is within 60 miles of 18 million people, it is home to 175 miles of pristine undeveloped coastline.