Take Pride in America, a nationwide partnership program authorized by Congress to promote the appreciation and stewardship of our nation’s public lands, hosted the event that honors excellence in volunteerism.
The Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer program, a joint effort by Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, was recognized for coordinating over 140 volunteers who are specially trained to educate visitors. Each year these naturalists reach over 500,000 people attending whale watch tours, island hikes, and community events. They also support citizen science efforts such as collecting data on marine mammals.
“We have a remarkable group of volunteers whose stewardship and selfless commitment to Channel Islands cannot be overstated,” said Chris Mobley, sanctuary superintendent. “They perform a vital public service and we owe them our deepest gratitude for the work they do.”
“Community involvement is vital to the preservation and protection of the park and sanctuary,” said park superintendent Russell Galipeau. “We are pleased to see our partnership volunteer program recognized as a national role model for resource protection.”
Managed by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect marine resources surrounding San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara islands. The sanctuary spans approximately 1,470 square miles, extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats, and historical and cultural resources.
Close to the California mainland, yet worlds apart, Channel Islands National Park encompasses five of the eight California Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. The park bridges two biogeographical provinces and, in a remarkably small place, harbors the biologic diversity of nearly 2,500 miles of the North American coast.