• 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 currently closed to public access due to damage from the high surf associated with Hurricane Marie. More »

  • San Miguel Island Closure

    In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Navy is closing San Miguel Island until further notice due to recent concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. More »

Nature & Science

Tim Hauf

Welcome to the Nature and Science pages for Channel Islands National Park. Here you will find information on the great diversity of life found on the islands and in the surrounding ocean, an overview of some of the habitats and ecosystems unique to the islands, descriptions of several programs in place within and outside the park to study and protect these systems, and links to additional information.

Channel Islands National Park was established in large part to protect the unique natural and cultural resources found both on the islands and within ocean waters, and the park has a long history of monitoring, protecting and restoring these resources. Even the shortest visit to the islands exposes visitors to the beauty and richness of park resources, whether it be leaping dolphins, undulating kelp, flowering Coreopsis, scampering mice, or soaring bald eagles. We hope this virtual visit to the natural resources of Channel Islands National Park provides you with information, if that is what you seek, or hopefully the inspiration to experience the islands more intimately by traveling yourself across the Santa Barbara Channel.

As the islands continually change in response to changing natural conditions and human impacts, our understanding of the resources within our care must also respond. Scientifically-based research can provide such information, and can answer many questions about how plants and animals live and how we can best protect them. Within these pages we provide examples of current and past research that attempts to increase our knowledge of island resources and in some cases provide links for more information.

Did You Know?

Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island

Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island is one of the world’s largest known sea caves. The cave measures 1215 feet in length (the size of more than four football fields), has a 160 foot entrance, and is almost 100 feet wide.