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

    Channel Islands

    National Park California

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  • Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage

    Santa Barbara Island is closed to public access due to damage from the recent storms to the pier landing ladder. The closure will be in place until a new ladder can be fabricated and installed. The closure is expected to last over a month. More »

  • Public Closures on Santa Barbara Island

    Certain Santa Barbara Island trails are closed to all public entry to proctect breeding populations of California brown pelicans. More »

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?

Island night lizard                                     C. Drost

The only reptile found on Santa Barbara Island is the endemic and threatened island night lizard. These lizards can live up to 20 years or more, but once established in a territory generally remain within a 3-meter radius their entire life.