The Channel Islands also serve as the meeting ground for sea birds and shore birds that rarely occur together, such as black oystercatchers from the north and American oystercatchers from the south. Both species, as well as hybrids between the two, nest on the islands. Other northern birds, such as pelagic cormorants and pigeon guillemots, overlap with additional southern species, such as Scripps's murrelets and California brown pelicans.
One nautical mile of water around each island in the park is part of Channel Islands National Park and six nautical miles around each island form the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Within the park and sanctuary a network of Marine Protected Area (MPAs) provide a refuge for sea life and opportunities for recreation, education, and science. In 11 Marine Reserves (including one on each end of Bechers Bay here on Santa Rosa Island-around Carrington and Skunk Points), recreational fishing and commercial harvest are prohibited; limited fishing and harvest are allowed in two Marine Conservation Areas. The MPAs total 318 square miles, the largest such network off the continental United States and part of a larger effort throughout the world to conserve natural, historic, and cultural marine resources.
For more information on Channel Islands MPAs and national MPAs visit: