The Channel Island Hazards
What are the Chanel Islands?
These are common hazards
Every day the Channel Islands of California overcome very threatening hazards, such as overfishing, polluted runoff, oil and gas exploration,and invasive species. Hazards like these cause 75 unique plant species and 60 animal species to be at risk. The only catch: it's our fault.
What is overfishing?
Take overfishing for example. The cause of this is when commercial fishermen fish too often and too fast. As the Channel Islands‚ fish population drops so do the populations of the animals who depend on the fish. So not only does it effect the fish, but it effects the whole ecosystem. This problem sounds easy to solve, but guess what, it‚s not. Why don't the fishermen go fish somewhere else? Most fishermen do, but as those populations drop, they always end up back at the Channel Islands. I think it is preposterous that these people can‚t fish without depleting nearly the whole fish population. Even laws can't completely assure the well-being of the Islands. Guess who's fault it is? Ours. That's pretty disturbing. Well here's some more disturbing information.
What is polluted runoff?
Polluted runoff is rainwater contaminated with oil, grease, heavy metal, pesticides, litter, animal waste, fertilizers, and other stuff that should never be in water, especially not in the open ocean. How does it end up there? Well, the coastal cities of California are to blame for this. The runoff washes into the water, and is taken away by the current. Some of it ends up right in the vicinity of the Channel Islands. That little bit of runoff adds up, and becomes a whole lot of runoff. Think just how sickening that would be. For example, if you went to get a glass of water and ended up with some runoff instead you might get a little grossed out. Try living in it. Every day the animals of the Channel Islands have to endure things like that. Guess who's fault it is? Yes, ours again. It's sad to think we can't live our lives without ruining something else's.
What is oil and gas exploration?
Oil and gas exploration is a very well known hazard due to its oil spills. It also can lead to noise, water, and air pollution. Those aren't the biggest reasons for the Channel Islands and California. One of the bigger reasons has been the visual impacts it can have. Not only would oil stations be in the water, but there would be coastal development. That hasn't happened yet, mostly because a large amount of water is off limits to oil rigs for the Channel Islands' sake. Recent talk of an energy crisis may change that. Although the oil rigs can‚t effect the protected ecosystems of the Channel Islands, they can destroy the unprotected ecosystems. Guess who's fault that is? Ours again. It's amazing; in our effort to protect the Channel Islands, we end up destroying something else.
What are invasive species?
Now we reach a less common hazard:
invasive species. The main cause of this is shipping. The species can get
into the ballast water that keeps the ship from tipping over. When the
ship reaches its destination it dumps the ballast water, releasing new
species such as fish and microorganisms. Hopefully they will just die off.
The species may also take over the entire ecosystem. Some invasive species
are brought in on purpose. Take the Islands‚ wild pigs for example. The
settlers brought them in as domestic animals. Now they are the cause of
the destruction of the Islands‚ habitat. Most importantly, they destroy
Chumash artifacts and burial sites. For the fourth time now guess who's
fault it is? Ours, yet once again. I‚m ashamed that we must corrupt preexisting
just so we can farm our livestock. Then again, without our livestock we will die. This is something that really has me stumped when thinking of a solution.
What can we do?
I want to do something about the Channel
Islands' problems. I want to help the Channel Islands in any way I can.
Maybe I wrote this in a way that made you feel the same way I do. Or maybe
not. One thing's for sure, the Channel Islands have problems, and not enough
is being done about it..
Back to Reports Page