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Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jul. 18, 2011

Contact:

Shauna Bingham
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
(805) 382-6151 x102

Yvonne Menard
Channel Islands National Park
(805) 658-5725

Sanctuary and Park Volunteer Program
Receives National Recognition

Channel Islands Naturalist Corps was named the Take Pride in America Outstanding Federal Volunteer Program Monday during a White House ceremony. The award promotes the appreciation and stewardship of our nation's public lands.

The Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer program, a joint effort by Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park, was recognized for coordinating more than 140 volunteers who are specially-trained to educate visitors. Each year these naturalists reach more than 500,000 people attending whale-watch tours, island hikes, and community events. The volunteers 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 Russell Galipeau, park superintendent. "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.

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