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

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Exploring Sunken Wrecks Around the Channel Islands

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Date: November 11, 2009
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

During the December “From Shore to Sea” lectures, sanctuary and park cultural resource experts Robert Schwemmer and Kelly Minas will discuss current research about historic shipwrecks and submerged airplanes around the islands.

The presentation will include two recently explored wrecks off Anacapa Island—a mysterious shipwreck of a possible prohibition era rum runner and a sunken World War II era torpedo bomber. These are among over two dozen wrecks studied around the Channel Islands that document over 150 years of evolving maritime enterprises. There are an estimated 150 or more shipwrecks thought to exist around the islands as well as submerged prehistoric sites dating back more than 10,000 years.

Schwemmer, the Maritime Heritage Coordinator for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, conducts archeological research for the five national marine sanctuaries located along the Pacific West Coast. He has been recording and mapping submerged sites in the area since 1993.

Minas has been the Channel Islands National Park Archeologist since 2004. Prior to working at the park he was the Staff Archeologist at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He has specialized as a prehistoric archeologist for 22 years and has an anthropology degree from the University of New Hampshire.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary with support from Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. The purpose of the series is to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way in the Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday, December 9, 2009, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

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.