The Channel Islands form an eight-island archipelago along the Santa Barbara Channel in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California. Five of the islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, and the waters surrounding these islands make up Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The islands were first colonized by the Chumash and Tongva Native Americans 13,000 years ago, who were then displaced by Spaniards who used the islands for fishing and agriculture. The U.S. military uses the islands as training grounds, weapons test sites, and as a strategic defensive location. The Channel Islands and the surrounding waters house a diverse ecosystem with many endemic species and subspecies. The islands harbor 150 unique species of plant that are found only on the Islands and nowhere else in the world.
|Area||350.89 sq mi (908.8 km2)|
|Highest elevation||2,429 ft (740.4 m)|
|Highest point||Devils Peak, Santa Cruz Island|
|Largest settlement||Avalon (pop. 3,728)|
The eight islands are split among the jurisdictions of three separate California counties: Santa Barbara County (four), Ventura County (two), and Los Angeles County (two). The islands are divided into two groups; the northern Channel Islands and the southern Channel Islands. The four northern Islands used to be a single landmass known as Santa Rosae.
The archipelago extends for 160 miles (257 km) between San Miguel Island in the north and San Clemente Island in the south. Together, the islands’ land area totals 221,331 acres (89,569 ha), or about 346 square miles (900 km2).
Five of the islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara) were made into the Channel Islands National Park in 1980. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles (11 kilometres; 6.9 miles) off these islands.
Santa Catalina Island is the only one of the eight islands with a significant permanent civilian settlement—the resort city of Avalon, California, and the unincorporated town of Two Harbors. University of Southern California also houses its USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies marine lab in Two Harbors.
Natural seepage of oil occurs at several places in the Santa Barbara Channel. Tar balls or pieces of tar in small numbers are found in the kelp and on the beaches. Native Americans used naturally occurring tar, bitumen, for a variety of purposes which include roofing, waterproofing, paving and some ceremonial purposes.
The Channel Islands at low elevations are virtually frost-free and constitute one of the few such areas in the 48 contiguous US states. It snows only rarely, on higher mountain peaks.
|Anacapa||1.14||2.95||3||Ventura||Summit Peak, 930 (283)|
|San Miguel||14.57||37.74||–||Santa Barbara||San Miguel Hill, 831 (253)|
|Santa Cruz||96.51||249.95||2||Santa Barbara||Devils Peak, 2429 (740)|
|Santa Rosa||83.12||215.27||2||Santa Barbara||Soledad Peak, 1589 (484)|
|San Clemente||56.81||147.13||3001)||Los Angeles||Vista Point, 1965 (599)|
|San Nicolas||22.75||58.93||2001)||Ventura||Jackson Hill, 907 (276)|
|Santa Barbara||1.02||2.63||–||Santa Barbara||Signal Hill, 634 (193)|
|Santa Catalina||74.98||194.19||4096||Los Angeles||Mount Orizaba, 2123 (648)|
|Channel Islands||350.89||908.79||4603||Devils Peak, 2429 (740)|
|1) Navy installations, itinerant military and civilian population|
Separated from the California mainland throughout recent geological history, the Channel Islands provide the earliest evidence for human seafaring in the Americas. It is also the site of the discovery of the earliest paleontological evidence of humans in North America. The northern Channel Islands are now known to have been settled by maritime Paleo-Indian peoples at least 13,000 years ago. Archaeological sites on the island provide a unique and invaluable record of human interaction with Channel Island marine and terrestrial ecosystems from the late Pleistocene to historic times. The Anacapa Island Archeological District is a 700-acre (280 ha) historic district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1979. Historically, the northern islands were occupied by the island Chumash, while the southern islands were occupied by the Tongva. Author Scott O'Dell wrote about the indigenous peoples living on the island in his novel Island of the Blue Dolphins. Aleut hunters visited the islands to hunt otters in the early 1800s. The Aleuts purportedly clashed with the native Chumash, killing many over trading disputes. Aleut interactions with the natives were also detailed in O'Dell's book.
The Chumash and Tongva were removed from the islands in the early 19th century and taken to Spanish missions and pueblos on the adjacent mainland. For a century, the Channel Islands were used primarily for ranching and fishing activities, which had significant impacts on island ecosystems, including the local extinction of sea otters, bald eagles, and other species. Several of the islands were used by whalers in the 1930s to hunt for sperm whales. With most of the Channel Islands now managed by federal agencies or conservation groups, the restoration of the island ecosystems has made significant progress. An example of conservation progress has been the bald eagle, which was threatened due to DDT contamination, but whose populations are now recovering. With the help of scientists from the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, the Catalina Island Fox has also recovered from a low of 100 individual foxes to over 1,500 foxes in 2018.
In 1972, in "a bit of political theater”, twenty-six Brown Berets sailed to Catalina Island on tourist boats, set up a small encampment near the town of Avalon, put up a Mexican flag and claimed the island on behalf of all Chicanos, citing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Twenty-four days later, sheriff's deputies took everyone back to the mainland.
Channel Islands National Park's mainland visitor center received 342,000 visitors in 2014. The islands attract around 70,000 tourists a year, most during the summer. Visitors can travel to the islands via public boat or airplane transportation. Camping grounds are available on Anacapa, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Islands in the Channel Islands National Park. Attractions include whale watching, hikes, snorkeling, kayaking and camping.
The United States Navy controls San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island, and has installations elsewhere in the chain. During World War II all of southern California’s Channel Islands were put under military control, including the civilian-populated Santa Catalina where tourism was halted and established residents needed permits to travel to and from the mainland. San Miguel Island was used as a bombing range and Santa Barbara Island as an early warning outpost under the presumed threat of a Japanese attack on California. San Clemente Island was used to train the Navy's first amphibious force to prepare for Pacific combat against the Japanese in World War II. San Nicolas Island has been used since 1957 as a launch pad for research rockets. San Nicolas was considered (out of eight possible locations) as the site of the Trinity nuclear test. Santa Rosa Island was used in 1952 as a base for the USAF 669th AC&W Squadron and they operated two Distant Early Warning FPS-10 radars from the hilltops there. In 1955 another FPS-3 search radar was added, and in 1956, a GPS-3 search radar was installed. A new MPS-14 long-range height-finder radar was installed in 1958. The base was shut down in March 1963, when the 669th was moved to Vandenberg AFB In Lompoc, California. The islands still house US Navy SEALs training facilities, including Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island.
The Channel Islands form part of one of the richest marine ecosystems of the world. Many unique species of plants and animals are endemic to the Channel Islands, including fauna such as the Channel Islands spotted skunk, ashy storm-petrel, Santa Cruz sheep, and flora including a unique subspecies of Torrey pine.
Flora on the Channel Islands include a unique subspecies of pine, oak, and the island tree mallow. Santa Rosa Island holds two groves of the Torrey pine subspecies Pinus torreyana var. insularis, which is endemic to the island. Torrey pines are the United States' rarest pine species. The islands also house many rare and endangered species of plants, including the island barberry, the island rushrose, and the Santa Cruz Island lace pod. Giant kelp forests surround the islands and act as a source of nutrition and protection for other animals.
Invasive species, such as the Australian blue gum tree, olive tree, sweet fennel, and Harding grass, threaten native species through competition for light, nutrients, and water. The Australian blue gum, for example, releases toxins in its leaf litter which prevents other species of plants from growing in the soil surrounding it. The blue gum, as well as other species including the Harding grass, are much more flammable and better adapted to wildfires than native species. Earthworms, thought to have come from mainland topsoil imported for road construction, are altering the unique ecosystem and microbial communities on San Clemente Island, threatening biodiversity. In this formerly earthworm-free region, they change the distribution of plants and vegetation, making it possible for non-native plants to invade.
The Channel Islands and the waters surrounding hold many endemic species of animals, including fauna such as the Channel Islands spotted skunk, island scrub jay, ashy storm-petrel, Santa Cruz sheep, San Clemente loggerhead shrike, and the San Clemente sage sparrow. Two breeds of livestock, the Santa Cruz sheep and the San Clemente Island goat originate from here. Many species of large marine mammals, including pacific gray whales, blue whales, humpback whales, and California sea lions breed or feed close to the Channel Islands. Current occurrences of the critically endangered North Pacific right whales and historically abundant Steller's sea lions in these areas are unknown. Seabirds, including the western gulls, bald eagles, pigeon guillemots, and Scripps's murrelets use the islands as well for shelter and breeding grounds. The endemic island fox is California's smallest natural canine and has rebounded from its near extinction in the late 1990s. Several endemic reptile and amphibian species including the island fence lizard, island night lizard, and Channel Islands slender salamander live on the islands.
Conservation efforts are being made to maintain the islands' endemic species. Feral livestock, including pigs, goats, and sheep, pose a threat to many of the species, including the San Clemente loggerhead shrike and Channel Islands spotted skunk. The National Park Service eradicated the feral pigs on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands during the 1990s and on Santa Catalina Island in 2007. Introduced pathogens have devastated island species due to isolation from the mainland. In 1998, an outbreak of canine distemper swept through Santa Catalina Island severely reducing the island skunk and fox populations. Rabies and distemper vaccination programs were initiated to protect the island's wildlife. Canine distemper is thought to have been brought to the islands on a stowaway raccoon or a domestic dog.
In the 1950s, bald eagles and peregrine falcons on the Channel Islands became locally extinct after widespread use of pesticides such as DDT. The birds ingest contaminated fish and seabirds which poisons the adults and weakens their eggs. Golden eagles, which are natural competitors of other birds of prey, do not primarily feed on these animals and were able to colonize the islands in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, golden eagles were live trapped and relocated. In 2002 and 2006 breeding pairs of bald eagles were reintroduced to the northern islands. Later in 2006, the introduced adult eagles hatched chicks on the islands for the first time since their extinction. The Channel Islands National Park established a bald eagle webcam on their website in 2007.
Scott O’Dell’s novel for young adults titled “Island of the Blue Dolphins” is based on the story of a tribal woman living alone on one of the remote Channel Islands in the 19th century.
Abalone ( (listen) or ; via Spanish abulón, from Rumsen aulón) is a common name for any of a group of small to very large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae.Other common names are ear shells, sea ears, and muttonfish or muttonshells in Australia, ormer in England, abalone in South Africa, and pāua in New Zealand.Abalone are marine snails. Their taxonomy puts them in the family Haliotidae, which contains only one genus, Haliotis, which once contained six subgenera. These subgenera have become alternate representations of Haliotis. The number of species recognized worldwide ranges between 30 and 130 with over 230 species-level taxa described. The most comprehensive treatment of the family considers 56 species valid, with 18 additional subspecies.The shells of abalones have a low, open spiral structure, and are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell's outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre (mother-of-pearl), which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong, changeable colors, which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, jewelry, and as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl.
The flesh of abalones is widely considered to be a desirable food, and is consumed raw or cooked by a variety of cultures.California's 70th State Assembly district
California's 70th State Assembly district is one of 80 California State Assembly districts. It is currently represented by Democrat Patrick O'Donnell of Long Beach.Channel Island (disambiguation)
The Channel Islands are a group of islands in the English Channel.
Other uses of Channel Island or Channel Islands include:
Channel Island, Northern Territory, an island and industrial suburb in Darwin
Channel Island Power Station
Channel Island Conservation Reserve
Channel Islands (California), an eight-island archipelago off the coast of southern California
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Chausey, a group of French islands in the English ChannelDe Anza College
De Anza College is a public community college in Cupertino, California. De Anza College is part of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which also administers Foothill College in nearby Los Altos Hills, California. Named after the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.De Anza College consistently ranks #1 or #2 in the state for the total number of students who annually transfer to University of California and California State University campuses. The average class size at De Anza is 35, and approximately 2,800 students transfer per year. It also attracts a heavy international student population.
De Anza holds a monthly flea market in its parking lot, which has become a community tradition as well as a major source of income for the De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB). With a budget of over 1 million dollars, the DASB has one of the biggest student budgets of any community college in California.Escondido Charter High School
Escondido Charter High School (colloquially referred to as Charter and ECHS) is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory day school for grades 9–12 located in Escondido, California. The school opened in 1996 with only 30 students. Since then, the student population has grown to almost 400 in the traditional preparatory program, with over 500 students attending the independent learning program. A Charter education is grounded in a classical "back to basics learning," and the importance of pupil-faculty intellectual discourse. Most classes maintain an average size of 20 students per class.Gene Haas
Eugene "Gene" Francis Haas (born November 12, 1952) is founder, president, and sole stockholder of Haas Automation, a CNC machine tool manufacturer. He also has a presence in motorsports, having founded NASCAR team Haas CNC Racing (now known as Stewart-Haas Racing) and the Formula One team, Haas F1 Team.Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo
Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo (Portuguese: João Rodrigues Cabrilho; 1497 – January 3, 1543) was a Spanish explorer born in Palma del Rio, Córdoba, Spain, although he is also claimed by tradition as a native of Portugal. Among other things he was a maritime navigator known for exploring the West Coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire. Cabrillo was the first European to navigate the coast of present-day California. He is best known for his exploration of the coast of California in 1542–1543. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo served under the command of Pánfilo de Narváez and aided him in the conquest of Cuba about 1518.List of Quercus species
The genus Quercus (oak) contains about 600 species, some of which are listed here.
For the taxonomic status of the oaks see The Plant List.List of national parks of the United States
The United States has 61 protected areas known as national parks that are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress. A bill creating the first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Mackinac National Park in 1875 (decommissioned in 1895), and then Rock Creek Park (later merged into National Capital Parks), Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Many current national parks had been previously protected as national monuments by the president under the Antiquities Act before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks (including six in Alaska) are paired with a national preserve, areas with different levels of protection that are administered together but considered separate units and whose areas are not included in the figures below.
Criteria for the selection of national parks include natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems, and recreational opportunities (though these criteria are not always considered together). National monuments, on the other hand, are frequently chosen for their historical or archaeological significance. Fourteen national parks are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS), while 21 national parks are designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (BR). Eight national parks are designated in both UNESCO programs.
Twenty-nine states have national parks, as do the territories of American Samoa and the United States Virgin Islands. California has the most (nine), followed by Alaska (eight), Utah (five), and Colorado (four). The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska: at over 8 million acres (32,375 km2), it is larger than each of the nine smallest states. The next three largest parks are also in Alaska. The smallest park is Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri, at approximately 192.83 acres (0.7804 km2). The total area protected by national parks is approximately 52.2 million acres (211,000 km2), for an average of 870 thousand acres (3,500 km2) but a median of only 229 thousand acres (930 km2).The national parks set a visitation record in 2017, with more than 84 million visitors. The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, with over 11.3 million visitors in 2017, followed by Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park, with over 6.2 million. In contrast, only 11,177 people visited the remote Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska in the same year.A few former national parks are no longer designated as such, or have been disbanded. Other units of the National Park Service (419 altogether) while broadly referred to as national parks within the National Park System do not hold the formal designation in their title.Lythrypnus
Lythrypnus is a genus of gobies native to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Americas including Cocos Island and the Galapagos Islands.Malacothrix squalida
Malacothrix squalida is a rare species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common name Santa Cruz desertdandelion. It is endemic to Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands, two of the eight Channel Islands of California, where it grows on rocky seaside bluffs and cliffs. The plant is very limited in distribution and today exists only in degraded habitat on these two small islands. It was last collected from Santa Cruz Island in 1968, and two populations were noted on Anacapa Island in 1998; in drought years there may be no plants at all. It became a federally listed endangered species in 1997. This is an annual herb growing a hairless, waxy stem 20 to 30 centimeters in maximum height. The leaves are sharply lobed. The inflorescence is an array of flower heads lined with oval-shaped phyllaries. The ray florets are 1 to 2 centimeters and light yellow in color.Microblade technology
Microblade technology is a period of technological development marked by the creation and use of small stone blades, which are produced by chipping silica-rich stones like chert, quartz, or obsidian. Blades are a specialized type of lithic flake that are at least twice as long as they are wide. An alternate method of defining blades focuses on production features, including parallel lateral edges and dorsal scars, a lack of cortex, a prepared platform with a broad angle, and a proximal bulb of percussion. Microblades are generally less than 50 mm long in their finished state.Mutiny on the Bounty (1935 film)
Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1935 American drama film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, based on the Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall novel Mutiny on the Bounty.
The film was one of the biggest hits of its time. Although its historical accuracy has been questioned (inevitably, as it is based on a novel), film critics consider this adaptation to be the best cinematic work inspired by the mutiny.Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference
The Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference (PCCSC) is one of the seven conferences within the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association, the governing body for collegiate competition in the sport of sailing.The PCCSC consists mostly of teams from California, but also includes teams from Hawaii and Arizona. The conference was formerly known as the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association (PCIYRA).Painted greenling
The painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus) is a marine fish native to the northeast Pacific Ocean. Its range is from Kodiak Island, Alaska to central Baja California. It can reach a total size of 25 cm (10 in) and has seven vertical dark bands. It inhabits rocky areas shallower than 50 m (160 ft). Specimens (mainly juveniles) sometimes gain protection from larger predators by living among the tentacles of Cribrinopsis albopunctata or Urticina piscivora sea anemones, which are venomous to other animals but do not harm the painted greenling.The painted greenling feeds on crustaceans, polychaetes, small molluscs and bryozoans.San Nicolas Island
San Nicolas Island (Tongva: Haraasnga) is the most remote of California's Channel Islands, located 61 miles (98 km) from the nearest point on the mainland coast. It is part of Ventura County. The 14,562 acre (58.93 km2 or 22.753 sq mi) island is currently controlled by the United States Navy and is used as a weapons testing and training facility, served by Naval Outlying Field San Nicolas Island. The uninhabited island is defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block Group 9, Census Tract 36.04 of Ventura County, California. The Nicoleño Native American tribe inhabited the island until 1835. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the island has since remained officially uninhabited, though the census estimates that at least 200 military and civilian personnel live on the island at any given time. The island has a small airport, though the 10,000 foot runway is the second longest in Ventura County (slightly behind the 11,102 ft. at the Naval Air Station Point Mugu) and several buildings, including telemetry reception antennas.Tegula funebralis
Tegula funebralis, the black turban snail or black tegula, is a species of medium-sized marine sea snail in the family Tegulidae. This eastern Pacific Ocean species was previously known as Chlorostoma funebralis.USS Makassar Strait
USS Makassar Strait (CVE–91) was a Casablanca class escort carrier of the United States Navy. The ship was named after Makassar Strait, the strait between Kalimantan and Sulawesi, Indonesia.
She was originally classified AVG-91, reclassified ACV-91 on 20 August 1942, and reclassified CVE-91 on 15 July 1943; originally named Ulitaka Bay and renamed Makassar Strait 6 November 1943; laid down by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Washington, under Maritime Commission contract 29 December 1943; launched 22 March 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Ysabel Weyse Hedding, wife of Captain Truman J. Hedding, Chief of Staff, Commander Carrier Division Three; and commissioned at Astoria, Oregon, 27 April 1944, Captain Warren K. Berner in command.Western Collegiate Cycling Conference
The WCCC or Western Collegiate Cycling Conference is a collegiate cycling conference based in the western United States. The conference is composed of 29 schools from California, Northern Nevada, and even Hawaii. Schools include current Road National Champions UC Davis as well as former champions Stanford and UC Berkeley. The schools in the conference compete in bicycle racing with road cycling races in the spring and mountain bike racing in the fall. The conference is governed by the National Collegiate Cycling Association, a division of USA Cycling. The conference is split up into two divisions.
Channel Islands of California
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Counties in italics sometimes included in the definition of the Central Coast