December 11, 2013

How Would YOU Like to See Channel Islands National Park Evolve?

Have an idea to enhance the tide pool experience on West Anacapa Island you never shared?  A vision for hostel type stays in housing on Santa Cruz Island or maybe just a desire for better access to the pinniped rookeries on San Miguel Island?

Well now is your chance to get those ideas in front of the people who are creating a direction for management and use of the park for years to come!  

Channel Islands National Park draft General Management Plan is currently open for comment and the public is encouraged to participate in its final stages.  Over a decade in the making, the plan outlines three options for access and accommodations for each of the five islands that comprise the National Park, with Alternative 3 the preferred option.  

Not everyone will have the time and resources to visit the islands themselves and the park service has taken that into consideration too.  The draft plan includes additions to the mainland visitors center in Ventura as well as enhancements to online programs and web based activities like the underwater webcam and live broadcasts from above and below the ocean.

Something for everyone!


The only thing missing... is your VOICE.  So take a moment to review the plan and if you have a passion for something not included or a concern about something that IS included, exercise your right and comment!

Be sure to comment by January 9, 2014.  Comments may be submitted electronically at the link above or in writing to:

Greg Jarvis, Project Manager
National Park Service
Denver Service Center, Planning
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Denver, CO 80225

November 9, 2013

Through the Lens of Tim Hauf...


For many of us the camera is at best a fashion accessory, looped around the neck like a fine broach.  Pictures come and pictures go but seldom does one demand our attention and leave us in awe of natures beauty.

In the hands of Tim Hauf, however, the camera works magic!  Each image bursts from the page in stunning beauty.  From the diminutive island fox, to the lumbering humpback whale Mr Hauf has a rare and precious relationship with the lens.

Hauf's latest photo book collection provides a stunning example (many examples, actually) of his work capturing the Channel Islands and surrounding oceans.  With some 225 images, this third photo book on the Channel Islands pays homage to the 'California Galapagos' as the islands are often referred.  

Looking for a unique gift for a vey special person on your holiday list?  Consider an originally signed copy of Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary; California's Galapagos!  Meet the artist, purchase a copy of his newest book and view a collection of his original work on Thursday, November 14th at Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura CA.  

Sponsored by Western National Parks Association and benefitting Channel Islands Park Foundation the evening will start at 5:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm.  Open to the public, this event is free to attend.  Light refreshments will be served throughout the evening. 

For more information on Tim Hauf and his approach to the craft, read Brett Johnson's article in the Ventura County Star newspaper.  

September 15, 2013

Trashius Extinctus is Our Goal!

You know the old saying... "stuff flows downhill"?  Well think of our beaches as the ultimate 'downhill'!  Everything seems to end up either on the sand or in the water and the consequences are nothing to laugh about.  

Look around the next time you walk down the street. Trash on the sidewalks and streets accumulates in the gutter and is swept into your city’s storm drain system when it rains or when runoff occurs. Most storm drain systems discharge directly into the nearest waterway, which eventually flows to the ocean.   Trash is often dumped directly into the ocean by recreational and commercial boaters, and  is often left on the beach by beach-goers. 

And its not only marine life that bears the brunt of all this trash.  Beach-goers can cut themselves on glass and metal left on the beach or step on a still smoldering cigarette butt. Marine debris also endangers the safety and livelihood of fishermen and recreational boaters when nets and fishing line obstruct propellers and plastic sheeting and bags block cooling intakes. Such damage is hazardous and costly in terms of repair and lost fishing time. In one Oregon port, a survey revealed that 58 percent of fishermen had experienced equipment damage due to marine debris. Their average repair cost was $2,725! 

So lets do something about it!  Let's strive to make Trashius Extinctus our goal!  That's right... no more soda bottles littering the beach; no more coffee cup lids or zip lock bags clogging up the storm drains please!  We can make a difference.  Every day our actions can either help or hurt.

On Saturday, September 21st, lets make sure we HELP. Join your friends and family for California Coastal Cleanup Day.  Pick a beach and bring gloves and a bucket and clean it up!  

If you happen to live in Ventura County and are looking to help, join the Channel Islands Park Foundation in our efforts to clean up the beaches around Ventura Harbor.  We'll be at Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center on Spinnaker Drive from 9 am to noon!  Bring gloves and a trash bag or bucket, water and enthusiasm.  For more information on the California Coastal Commission and what to expect on Cleanup Day visit http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/expect.html.  

A waiver is required for all participants and can be downloaded in advance from their website.

Help us make Trashius Extinctus once and for all!
http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/art.html

August 21, 2013

Virtual Visits ... the New Field Trip!

The five islands that comprise Channel Islands National Park lie within 60 miles of over 18 million people, but trips to this American Galapagos aren’t always possible for the thousands of school ages children in Ventura County and beyond.

That’s where virtual travel comes in!  Channel Islands National Park, working with the Ventura County Office of Education, sponsors Channel Islands Live a program that lets students take a virtual hike on Anacapa or talk to divers exploring the kelp forests.

This high tech approach to the classroom field trip of yore, can open up a world of exploration helping make a first connection for many students who otherwise might never get to experience the natural world.  

Technology can be tricky though and communication systems can fail when you least expect so sometimes its just more efficient and maybe fun too, to bring the field to the classroom!


Pat Meyer, President of Channel Islands Park Foundation and founder of Friends of the Island Fox, regularly visits classrooms in Ventura County and in Los Angeles, introducing students to the small endangered fox.  At Pacifica High School recently, Meyer and Keri Dearborn, education director for FIF, talked with a marine biology class before the students went to Santa Rosa Island on a trip paid for by the school.

While there may be no substitute for a real walk in nature, virtual field trips and in-class education like that offered through Friends of the Island Fox, are valuable tools to prepare students for extended education in science and the environment.

Read more about how educators are pulling out the stops to bring the field into the classroom and vice versa!

May 17, 2013

Art will Survive... but will the Species?

May 17th!   You know what day that is?  Endangered Species Day!

Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for people young and old to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions that people can take to help protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining open space.

And because our children have the most vested interest in protecting the earth and its inhabitants, the national Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest provides young people with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. 
 
2013 Youth Art Grand Prize Winner!


Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day recognizes the importance of endangered species and is an occasion to educate the public on how to protect them.

Look at the amazing art work submitted by kids across the country here!  And learn more about the endangered species coalition here.

May 6, 2013

Recovery on Anacapa Island..

A ship sinks in foul weather, tossing all manner of flotsam into the sea.  Riding the waves on a makeshift raft, black rats huddle until the shoreline looms.  
Winfield Scott


This may, or may not be how rats (Rattus) were first introduced to Anacapa Island but regardless of how they made their way to shore, their impact is without question.  Numbering in the thousands within years of introduction, they feasted on the rare Scripps's murrelet eggs, causing park service personnel to worry the bird may be forever lost to Anacapa.

Fast forward... now 10 years after ridding the island of black rats, biologists are pleased to report the island is teeming with wildlife!  

Read the entire story here and be sure to mark your calendar for Wednesday May 8th to hear the story live during the Shore to Sea Lecture Series.  Open to the public and always free the lecture starts at 7 pm at Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor.