Strung along a stretch of California coast are five separate pieces of land surrounded by 1,252 square nautical miles of sea. Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary protect these islands, the sea around them, and a dazzling array of wildlife.

Two of the islands in this unusual park, Anacapa and Santa Barbara, were earlier designated a national monument, a refuge for nesting seabirds, seals, sea lions, and other long-threatened marine animals. When those islands and three others were joined in a national par.k, the mission of refuge continued.

Today the park manages a long-term ecological research program that may be the best in the park system. The marine sanctuary—established in 1980—extends for six nautical miles around each island. Among the resources it protects are giant kelp forests with nearly a thousand kinds of fish and marine plants. The park and sanctuary also guard the area from encroachment by another kind of island—the seagoing oil rigs of the Santa Barbara Channel. that they have many different thing on the island like plant forms and animals

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