santa barbara Channel Emerging Issues and Threats

Kaykaing at the Santa Barbara Channel Islandsl. Photo by Erin Feinblatt Photography.

Conserving Marine Resources Homepage
Santa Barbara Channel Emerging Issues & Threats
National Ocean Policy
Marine Protected Areas & Marine Reserves
Ocean Acidification

EDCs Marine Conservation Work has been at the forefront of protecting the Santa Barbara Channel's amazing natural resources including resources found in and around the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park.

EDC Advances Marine Conservation By:

  • Representing the conservation community on the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) Advisory Council

  • Chairing the CINMS Conservation Working Group (CWG)

  • Conducting comprehensive science and policy research on existing and emerging threats and issues in the Santa Barbara Channel including: ocean acidification, aquaculture, water quality, and underwater noise.

  • Recommending management actions that are based in sound science and ecosystem principles.
    • Marine Protected Areas. Helping establish a network of marine reserves at the Channel Islands and along California’s mainland coast. Learn more about EDC's work on marine protected areas.
    • CINMS Management Plan. Developing policy and regulatory recommendations that were incorporated into the 2009 CINMS Management Plan.
    • Whales and Shipping. Serving on a CINMS subcommittee that prepared a report with recommendations to protect whales from the threat of ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel. Learn more about EDC’s work to protect the Blue Whale.

Reports on Existing and Emerging Threats

These reports include conservation based management recommendations for agencies, managers, stakeholders, and the public. Reports cover the following topics:

  • Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: Cause, effect and response (Adopted September 2008) [PDF LINK]
  • Aquaculture. Open Ocean Aquaculture in the Santa Barbara Channel: An emerging challenge for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (Adopted July 2007) [PDF LINK]
  • Water Quality. A Water Quality Needs Assessment for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (Adopted September 2005) [PDF LINK]
  • Underwater Noise. Anthropogenic Noise and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: How underwater noise affects Sanctuary resources, and what we can do about it (Adopted September 2004) [PDF LINK]

*All reports have been adopted by the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council

Ban the bag

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution promoting reduction of single-use bag use and removal of plastic litter, and encouraging local, state, and federal efforts to ban the use and distribution of single-use plastic bags. Plastic bags are among the top 10 most common types of litter on local beaches and are known to threaten many of the marine species that live in and migrate through our Sanctuary. beach cleanup














Channel Island National Park

The Channel Islands National Park (CINP) encompasses the five northern Channel Islands—Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Islands and their ocean environment. The National Park is home to over 2,000 terrestrial plants and animals, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world such as the island fox.

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) encompasses 1,128 square nautical miles from the shore to approximately six nautical miles (NM) seaward of the five northern Channel Islands. The Marine Sanctuary harbors unique ecosystems with world class diversity and productivity. Many species of marine life flow, drift, and move across the Sanctuary’s boundaries. Species such as blue, humpback, gray whales, tunas, great white sharks, and many sea birds, arrive to the Sanctuary after traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles.

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