Judith Dale: The Channel Islands: San Miguel and Santa Rosa

21 December 2020

In my last article, I discussed the Santa Barbara Channel and its islands in general. This article will focus on two of five islands in Channel Islands National Park: San Miguel and Santa Rosa.

The national park was established in 1980 to protect the islands and make them accessible to the public. (Note: There are three other islands in the Channel Islands that are not in the national park: San Nicolas, Santa Catalina and San Clemente. The U.S. military owns San Nicolas and San Clemente, and Santa Catalina is a thriving commercial tourist island off the coast of Los Angeles.)

Channel Islands National Park consists of 249,354 acres, half of which are under the ocean since the park’s boundary extends one nautical mile from the shore of each island. Four of the five islands in the park are a westward extension of the Santa Monica Mountains. Before the sea rose over 130 feet thousands of years ago, the four islands of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel were a single landmass called Santarosae Island.

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