Eco-[ē-koh;] - Environment, natural habitat.
Kai– [kī] – ocean or area near the sea.
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Channel Islands National Park
August 31st, 2011
By: Jim Burton, PE

EcoKai Environmental, Inc. staff recently joined teachers from the Los Angeles Unified School District and Nature Bridge staff on a boat trip to the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary. The Channel Islands lie in a region between the mainland coast and the deep ocean on the continental shelf just off the coast of California. Lower ocean levels during the ice ages narrowed the distance across the Santa Barbara Channel and exposed some of the seafloor. The land offshore, easier to reach then, allowed some species to venture into this new territory. Many species evolved over time and adapted to their isolated environment.

Within the park and sanctuary is a network of marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) that provide a refuge for sea life and opportunities for recreation, education, and science. The Channel Islands have the largest network of MPA’s on off the continental United States (www.nps.gov/chis).

Although science was the primary goal, those participating were able to find time to hike, dive, kayak, and the opportunity to witness some spectacular surf off Skunk Point on Santa Rosa Island.



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