Did you know that our Northern Channel Islands are Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and are classified as a Blue Park?
These islands located off our coast protect a variety of marine ecosystems such as rocky intertidal communities, seagrass beds, giant kelp forests, and deep-sea coral gardens. The Channel Islands network is made up of 11 state and federal no-extraction Marine Reserves and 2 no-extraction Special Closure Areas. Over 5,000 species of invertebrates, mammals like seals and sea lions, large open-water fish, and seabirds reside there. The Channel Island MPAs protect a handful of endangered species such as the blue whale, the orca, and the fur seal. The abundance of marine species in the region is largely due to high productivity driven by upwelling and its situation between warm and cold water bioregions.
Marine Conservation Institute launched Blue Parks to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. The Blue Parks initiative is an innovative strategy to incentivize decision-makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for sustainable tourism.