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U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3077

Supporting Sound Management of Our Coasts and Seas

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Western Region; Santa Barbara Channel Coastal and Ocean Science

By Samuel Y. Johnson


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USGS coastal and ocean science in the Western United States and the Pacific integrates scientific expertise in geology, water resources, biology, and geography. Operating from 10 major science centers in the Western Region, the USGS is addressing a broad geographic and thematic range of important coastal and marine issues. In California, the Santa Barbara Channel represents one area of focus.

The Santa Barbara Channel area extends from the steep Santa Ynez Mountains on the north to the Channel Islands and adjacent continental shelf on the south and from Point Conception east to the Hueneme submarine canyon. This dynamic landscape, characterized by diverse ecosystems and both urban and rural populations, faces increasing environmental stress due to development, climate change, and natural hazards. The USGS has a long history of work in this area, providing information on a range of coastal-zone-management issues to local, State, and Federal stakeholders. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Interior have specific land- and natural-resource-management responsibilities in the Santa Barbara Channel associated with the Channel Islands National Park (National Park Service), petroleum production and infrastructure in Federal waters (Minerals Management Service), and endangered species recovery (Fish and Wildlife Service). The Santa Barbara Channel is also the location of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and other important marine protected areas.

  • This report is also available in print from:

    USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
    Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
    telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail:

For additional information:
Contact Information, Western Coastal and Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

This report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Samuel Y. Johnson, 2009, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Western Region; Santa Barbara Channel Coastal and Ocean Science: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3077, 4 p.


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