Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Volunteers Fight to Save Anacapa Island

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Of the five islands that make up Channel Islands National Park, it's one of the smallest that has some of the biggest problems. 17 miles off the coast of Oxnard is Anacapa Island. The 1.1 square-mile series of three large volcanic rocks that shoot out of the ocean is the birthplace to most all seagulls you see on Southern California beaches and many of the pelicans found throughout the West Coast, as far as Alaska.

It is also home to some 250 plant species, but all of them don't belong there. While two-thirds of those plants are either native to Southern California or endemic to the islands, two-thirds of Anacapa's land is covered with invasive species and if they could have their way, they'd take over the whole island.

Of particular note is a succulent and crystalline form of ice plant from South Africa. The plant's biological competitive nature is winning out against the native and endemics, which are used to a balanced ecosystem. Anacapa should fully be abloom with Giant Coreopsis, but the ice plant over the years has spread, salinating the soil and choking out the home team.