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I want to come back. I just I just don't hear you here. I don't enjoy their county far away from anything you just want. To enjoy able to worry. A good description of one of these Shangri-La like islands off the coast of central California. Collectively known as the Channel Islands it has been suggested by some that a number of these islands be formed into a national park to protect and preserve their solitary beauty and wildlife. Others interested in conservation are working to develop the idea of undersea parks to guard the delicate ecology of the ocean. It is these two areas Highland Park sand undersea parks that will be explored on this edition of down to the sea. The island is generally referred to as the Channel Islands are located roughly 20 miles
off and Tora and Santa Barbara County is along the central coast of California. The two largest islands Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa are privately owned. They are largely undeveloped and have for many years been the location of a handful of large working ranches. The other islands are operated by the National Park Service. There was San Miguel the island farthest at sea is actually owned by the Navy and is closed to the public. That leaves only remote Santa Barbara island and the tiny pair of Rocky eyelets not preserved as the end of Kappa national monument. Through the cooperation of the National Park Service. We visited Anna Kappa and San Miguel aboard a service as powerful cruiser the cougar and read from a small brochure describing our destination. Along the shore lines of Anacapa and Santa Barbara herds of marine
mammals find refuge from the restlessness and perils of the sea. They almost continual barking of California sea lions mingles with the cries of thousands of Western gulls. And the muffled roll or. Breakers. Occasionally a sea otter is sighted. And it is hoped that these rare mammals may someday return to the island. Transience to the islands are the rare comical appearing sea elephants so named because of their huge size and the male's foot long trunk like snout. When I'm tired or frightened an old bull may issue a resoundingly bellow that seems to make the beach tremble. Still more rare is the Guadalupe first long flight to have been completely exterminated. In recent years. Individuals have been sighted near the Channel Islands. In time under continued government protection. All these rare animals of the sea may again become regular inhabitants. A great
attraction of the monument is the California sea lion. These big brown sleek Burberry belonging to the family of eared CEOs are regularly seen sunning themselves on the island beaches. On Anacapa at least one cave has a large number of these animals. In less than an hour the cougar dropped anchor in a small semi protected harbor off the small rocky beach and a cap Island. We talked to Ranger David Orr and then to Ranger Hall. But James amazing to me that in this situation it's necessary for a boat owner to tie up offshore in his gear ashore in a small boat. And yet you have. Actually how many campers every two weeks during the summer you know additional Last weekend we had 85 people over here. Procmail lived up 46. Can I shore sleeping ashore and about that meaning more around. A board they really were eight nine. Sailboats and one of the 18 year anchored here in the harbor and. Same on Fourth of July
I believe they were 96 people here altogether about. 45 or 50 on the beach. 13 boats anchored to hearing the Close to give us an idea of the dimensions of the beach. Probably about 200 yards by a hundred feet. And Rocky very rocky. But however I talked to one ranger that was out here on. All of the east pier and he said that it was completely Sandy it changes it a bit that ever tied to even notice that the slope of it and Sandy most of it old oak change just between Kai. You're going to get. There. So it won't be as Rocky the next Tiger of it especially if you get a real high tide you may be Sandy the next time. But what is the attraction of very well beyond your boating I mean mainly and fish like and and and scuba diving and.
Of skin diving and I just get the boating and then diving in the main things is there a particular area right around or below USA the campfires that is particularly interesting is going to well this point right up for you know where I have less Diamant the same seat in this Caliban up here seems to be where most of the upper one just edge of the island and then. Down now where men arrive. How long the middle by there won't really be down over there. I believe there is no ship in fields got down there and some people back down the sea air and then you know the rain and the feedforward and I guess you can go in there and dive in with the light reflects the water and if you're not there and of course on the other side the surge is really there for diving or the other
boat. Fish count as. The use of the islands or the minor Channel Islands National line it. Expands a part of the general public probably protecting any of the plant life here you think Yasser Arafat already people are relatively delicate plant the Coreopsis and they are alive. Tramp through it wherever you lock through it damaging damage Atlantic. Larger than a cap but you can see it's difficult to walk any place great up and a killer. Indeed it does take only a few minutes to explore superficially at least this tiny island. The sister island a stone's throw away houses a lighthouse. The end of Kappa National Monument is more often than not swept by winds and blanketed in fog and yet its very barren nature contributes to its appeal. But the longest part of the trip was yet to come. The trip along the large ranch islands to the outer islands San
Miguel where various forms of wildlife once almost extinct are now returning thanks to the protection of the Park Service the constant blend of seals and surface evident the Deep Throat the sounds are made by the giant elephant seals on San Miguel. With the Rangers down to the SI reporter Ken Kramer walked the deserted shelled covered
beach and discovered the camp of a husband wife scientific team observing the behavior of the Northern first. He talked with Mrs. Budlong about her work and about her temporary remote island home to 10 by 20 men. And my husband bought the table in a place to hang clothes in the Workbench for cooking and three propane lights and the gas stove and gas refrigerator. And other than that we have a couple chairs and two cots and I painted the for number of times trying to. He said clean which is impossible because we drag and it's not so much sand now looks tention with shelves in it that we keep our canned goods and everything. And what do you do on the island. What do I do. Surprisingly enough this is what I was concerned with before I came out here and I find that just everyday living takes so much longer because I have to boil the water before I do dishes and it takes. I bake my own bread and it just takes a lot longer takes longer to clean up than everything because we do track so much sand and I spend lots of time in observation blind. My husband and just lots
of time just exploring the island closer some with to see can you tell us a little about the observation and what you're observing and how you're going about we're observing Northern for seals. And this is the first time that we know that they've been found in reading further south and the Preble off islands in the Bering Sea. And we're doing only observation. We're trying to keep the animals as undisturbed as possible we're doing no tagging we're not touching the animals at all or simply observing them from the block trying to find out how their actions that they're similar to the Preble loss or. Not how they keep cool because it's so much warmer than the problem. And so this is what we're doing this summer and recording we have marked individuals. Natural marks where they have mange or maybe they've been tagged on the problem last previously. So we're just simply keeping record the number of animals and. Which ones are here every day. Looking back on it has it been great I don't want to do he would much prefer to stay here. They might only conserve once there while supplies and water and things like this and we work them out pretty well we found no
trace of water spring that we can use the water for use it for laundry and things like this and I just I want to come back and I'd like to stay alive and I just say Are you here. I don't miss people at all I mean I enjoy their county. But as far as seeming far away from civilization or anything it has been just too enjoyable to worry about exploring the beautiful canyons and beaches of San Miguel. We learned of important archaeological findings on the island currently being investigated. Findings contributing to our knowledge of ancient Indian cultures. We learned of pioneers who settled on the islands and Civil War days and of a man who once crowned himself king San Miguel but most of all we carried away some understanding of the importance of this wilderness area to future generations. Someday perhaps this beautiful island and perhaps even the much larger not all privately owned islands in the chain will become the Channel Islands National Park. Many conservationists have proposed just this as one bill before Congress indicates.
We thought of this bill as we rode back to the anchored cabin cruiser. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU get enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled That in order to preserve for the benefit of the people certain property in the state of California possessing unique scenic scientific and other natural values there is hereby established the Channel Islands National Park a national park subject to valid existing rights shall comprise the islands of Anacapa Santa Barbara San Miguel de Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa in the Channel Islands group. Together with the lands submerged lands and
waters within one not a whole mile of the shoreline of such islands within the Channel Islands National Park. The secretary of the interior is hereby authorized to procure lands and interest in lands including submerged lands by purchase donation purchased with donated funds or otherwise. With sufficient public interest it is possible that these wonderful islands can be preserved as a national park. What exactly is an undersea park. What value is it. And just who is
in a position to enjoy it. With the rapidly increasing interest in the waters off our coast we decided to look into the undersea park idea and as a sample of these parks both existing and proposed we selected the La Jolla undersea park near San Diego and talked to Bob Bates a public information specialist for the Navy's undersea research and development center former assistant deputy director of the State Department of Parks and active as a member of the Advisory Board on underwater parks and reserves of California. Well sheriff the state of California developed one of the first underwater parks or reserves at Point Lobos California. Oh several years ago I think it was around 900 62 or 63. Florida followed suit at that time as did the National Park Service when they established the underwater park in the Virgin Islands the American Virgin Islands. The underwater park concept is catching hold rapidly throughout the world. Many countries are looking at underwater parks. Now at the prospect of preserving
just a small portion of their underwater area for the tourists to enjoy and for the conservationist we asked Bob Bates about the problem of site selection and actual creation of underwater parks off California. Nearby electronic research equipment cause some background sound on our part of the tape recorder. One California fifteen hundred miles a very shoreline or unique geological and biological features. We are at the point in the underwater parks program at the National Park System was when it started many years ago. Many of the features definitely need to be preserved and should be preserved. The Advisory Board is working in this direction. They'll be looking at the total coastline and individual sections and also they'll examine the shoreline out to various depths to determine if they meet suitable criteria for an underwater park. Two underwater parks have were originally proposed and now a third one has been added. These parks are Illinois under water park. Julia
Pfeiffer Burns under water park in the lawn the beautiful Big Sur coastline and now the most recent at Salt point in northern California. All three underwater parks are off shore of presently own California State Parks. California is under water. Parks will try to accommodate all needs of our modern society. We're sure that through proper management the commercial uses of the underwater parks area can can be accommodated as well as the needs of the recreationists and the Avid conservationists who feels that there must be areas that should be maintained in any nearly pristine condition. Actually the underwater park system is in great measure attributable to the efforts and the dedication and farsightedness of director William Penn Mott Jr. the director of the California State Park system and resources director Norman P. Livermore Jr..
When we were in Sacramento we received a request for information on how we were organizing our underwater parks advisory board and how we were proceeding to establish the underwater parks. I think the request came in from a come in from all over the world. One area that you know in particular the Netherlands West Indies we received a request forwarded to us from the University of Miami for information and they pointed out there how commercial collectors had taken practically all of this just strip the reefs in off of the island of Curacao of these beautiful marine specimens for aquarium collectors in Europe and these commercial collectors from what I understand arranging throughout all the oceans now just stripping reef after reef after reef so it's vital. Vital that we save some of the Marine specimens so that we can repopulation repopulate the reefs in the future. Otherwise the entire planet will shorelines will be devoid
of marine life. And actually when you come right down to it what is the purpose of studying marine life the ecology or any other facet in a university. If there are no more specimens and evidence in other words if they've gone the way of the passenger pigeon why study it. Is it an exercise in academics. Dr Robert F. Dille also with the Navy undersea research and development center in San Diego is very active as chairman of the underwater park Advisory Board and is a very vocal booster of the idea of undersea parks. I think one of the important aspects of the underwater park is that it and also the result of our pre-employment ary survey is to set them up. What is that we do not have an unlimited area along our coast lines for people to come and actually use the areas that are of interest are actually quite small and the population pressure is growing to a point where
if something is not done to set aside fairly large areas along the coastline we won't have a underwater environment as we know it and a natural and or underwater environment as we know it today. We are close to the point we were with our rivers of creating such a tremendous force of pollutants that we can destroy this very desirable natural environment and people are going under water like we have never envisioned in the past. I think we started off in about one thousand fifty six with something like 50000 skin divers at the present time there is over 5 million skin divers alone and we join him on a scuba diving tour of the Aloha undersea park. Oh.
Yeah. It was a what.
It is the type of park we're setting up here is
not really like any of the others that have been proposed along other coastline. This is a I mentioned before a multiple use area where if someone wants to come in to the region and set up a underwater restaurant for instance and he can show that this will not irreversibly change the natural environment will let this take place. I will also not curtail skin diving in the region this is something is not done in any other parks. However if there is a species which is in particular danger we will. Call a moratorium on taking of this particular species until it re-establish itself in relative to the natural environment. And this will entail a great deal of scientific effort on the institutions in the area surrounding the park and that will have to call upon them to make sure that there is a adequate scientific inventory on the fish that
reproduction and we will essentially be using game management procedures to get the ultimate use out of these underwater areas. And with the park we're not only interested in just the diver but we're also interested in the general public as well and making them aware of what is out beneath the sea. And all along all with our underwater parks we will have on the adjacent land interpretive centers where the average person who doesn't die can go in and see the displays and exhibits of what is actually taking place underwater we will have underwater television placed in various parts of the park so that people can see the natural environment without actually diving into it. We also envision within the next 10 years of having. Submersibles very similar to our research submersibles only larger which will
allow people to go down and actually see the deeper parts of the offshore not just the shallower areas. And the deeper portions of the continental borderland are actually as pretty as those in the shallow and have many unique things. We are just finding now in our research and the average person will become interested. Because it will be much easier to take people. The average person from the Midwest or from our own coastal cities down and show them these this unique environment that it would be to send them up to the moon and I guarantee it's equally as important and interesting in time as Dr. Dill suggests all of us will be able to enjoy the results of the present pioneering efforts to establish parks at sea. Down to the sea a series of programs dealing with the great world ocean. Is a
production of San Diego's public radio station. He asked us out of San Diego State College written and produced by our host Tom McManus with the assistance of Ken Kramer. These programs include traditional music of the city you arranged and performed by Sam Hinton. And selected readings by Cliff Kirk. The series was made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the national educational radio network.
Down to the sea
Episode Number
Parks at Sea
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Down to the sea; 5; Parks at Sea,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 19, 2024,
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APA: Down to the sea; 5; Parks at Sea. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from