Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan

  • Goal: To advance protection of the Channel Island National Marine Sanctuary and its natural resources, and to ensure public involvement and awareness in the process
  • Year Started: 2019
  • Partner Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Conservation Working Group

Sitting off the coast of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary provides an ideal destination for nature and water enthusiasts, boaters, scientists, and anglers.  The Sanctuary protects 1,470 square miles of ocean around five of the eight Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara. Often referred to as the Galapagos of North America, the Sanctuary sits at the confluence of two major currents providing remarkable biodiversity and productivity.  Through research, education, stewardship, and conservation, the Sanctuary protects endangered and threatened species, historic shipwrecks, cultural resources, and sensitive marine habitat.

In 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began revising the Sanctuary’s Management Plan to address new challenges for protecting resources while continuing to facilitate multiple ocean uses, and to incorporate new tools that have emerged to aid in management. EDC has long advocated for the protection of marine resources in the Sanctuary, and through our role as the Conservation Member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, we will continue to weigh in on the Management Plan process.  Our focus is on resource protection; maintaining marine protected areas to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, vessel speed reduction to prevent fatal whale strikes and improve air quality, prevention and reduction of invasive species and marine debris, possible boundary expansion, and ensuring diverse audiences are prioritized in education and outreach, among other management measures.

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