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Channel Islands (California)

The eight Channel Islands of California,
off the west coast of the United States

The Channel Islands are a chain of eight islands located off the coast of Southern California and are part of the richest marine biospheres of the world. The islands are divided into two groups, the Northern Channel Islands and the Southern Channel Islands.

Northern Channel Islands

Southern Channel Islands Five of the islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara) were made into the Channel Islands National Park in 1980. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles off Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel and and Santa Barbara Islands. The United States Navy controls San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island completely and has installations elsewhere in the chain. Santa Catalina Island is the only one of the eight islands with a significant permanent civilian settlement--the resort city of Avalon, California.