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Channel Islands: Enjoying CA’s Marine Wildlife & Fighting to Protect It

Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary is made up of five islands along the Santa Barbara Channel and their surrounding ocean environment. From north to south, the islands are San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara. The Channel Islands are home to over 2,000 plant and animal species of which 150 are found nowhere else in the world, earning these islands their nickname as North America’s Galapagos.

Turtle Island recently educated island visitors about our campaign to end the use of driftnets to catch swordfish off California’s coast. During the voyage, hosted by The Sierra Club, voyagers were treated to views of sea lions, harbor seals, dolphins and humpback whales, just a few of the more than 30 marine mammal species found in the area. These are some of the very animals that are threatened by the driftnets that have drowned nearly 1,000 marine mammals over the last decade.

Over 30,000 visitors enjoy the park each year. Of course, many more enjoy seeing whales and other wildlife throughout California’s waters. To make sure visitors to the Channel Islands and California’s ocean waters can continue to enjoy spotting ocean wildlife, Turtle Island needs your help to protect that marine wildlife from being needlessly killed by driftnets.

The voyagers to the Channel Islands decided to help our campaign to keep marine wildlife safe, and even the boat’s captain is pitching in. If you’re interested in volunteering to be part of the solution, please e-mail cburdyshaw@tirn.net for more information about how you can help.