Channel Islands

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Designated: September 22, 1980

Expanded: May 24, 2007

Area:  1,470 mi2

Off the coast of Southern California’s Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is a vibrant destination where a diverse habitat protecting endangered species, innovative research and conservation, world-class outdoor recreation, award-winning learning and volunteer programs, and archaeological remains all come together within the borders.

In 1980, a portion of the Santa Barbara Channel was given a special protected status with the designation of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is an area of national significance because of its exceptional natural beauty and resources. It encompasses approximately 1,470 square miles (or 1,110 square nautical miles) of ocean waters surrounding Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Islands, extending from mean high tide to six nautical miles offshore around each of these five islands. The primary goal of the sanctuary is the protection of natural and cultural resources contained within its boundaries.

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