The Channel Islands National Park in California receives almost 540,000 visitors annually. They can explore historical, cultural history and lots of flora and fauna on an impressive area of 1,009 km². The Channel Islands National Park was established on March 5, 1980. See directoryaah for museums in California.
The history of the Channel Islands National Park
The Channel Islands have been inhabited for a long time. Excavations found human remains around 11,000 years old on the island of Santa Rosa. Prehistoric heaps of rubbish were also discovered during the excavations. These suggest that there must have been island residents for many millennia. According to the analysis of the finds, people lived on plants, sea snails and other tidal pool animals that were common at the time.
By skillfully selling and trading with the colonists living on the mainland, the people living on the island achieved a certain prosperity.
In October 1542 the islanders met the first European. The navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese who sailed under the Spanish flag, arrived on the island with his ships. California became a Spanish colony in 1769. A terrible slaughter followed in which sea otters, seals, elephant seals and sea lions were brutally slaughtered in their thousands. Just 8 decades later, the animals were all but wiped out and the indigenous people had left the island. The Spaniards wanted to integrate the islanders into the hunt, but they refused.
In 1850 the gold rush broke out in America. This is how the Chinese came to the Channel Islands and settled them. They literally plundered the tide pools. They were particularly interested in the abalone, which they dried and dried and exported to China.
At the end of the 19th century arable farming was introduced on the island and more arable land began to be used by clearing and burning.
Farmers began to colonize the island, bringing sheep, cattle, pigs, rabbits, deer, dogs and cats as well as some exotic plants to the islands. This changed the entire plant and animal life on the island.
It was not until 1938 that the islands of Santa Barbara and Anacapa were placed under protection. The island of San Miguel followed a little later. Santa Rosa was not placed under protection until 1986.
A rugged beauty that enchants
The rugged island area of the Channel Islands National Park is exactly what defines the park. The many different animals that were brought here thanks to the changing inhabitants of the islands and are now at home there and also the many plants typical of islands make the islands special. The visual appearance is rough, and in some cases even very hard. But the islands also radiate a little warm, even when you get the rough wind in your face on cooler days.
In summer the water can reach 20 degrees. The sea bays in particular are ideal for diving, swimming and boating. Long walks on the beach or discovery tours are also very inviting. A particularly large number of activities are offered during the tides.
A special highlight of the Channel Islands National Park is that you can watch gray whales here depending on the season. These give birth to their young in the Gulf of California and hibernate there before they return to their homeland, the Arctic.