Devastation of the Channel Islands (06:04)
The Channel Islands archipelago, just off the coast of Los Angeles, were once home to the earliest known humans on the American continent, but have now undergone a huge ecological change. As the European settlers moved in, the commercial harvest of sea otters nearly drove the California otters to extinction.
Wildlife Within Kelp Forests (04:58)
The otters of the Channel Islands also were the main predators within the giant seaweed forests of the organisms such as muscles, crabs, abalones, urchins, and starfish; in the absence of the otters, the giant kelp have been devoured by urchins. Shell fish began taking over the islands, so the settlers began exploiting this resource as well.
Industrial Revolution in California (07:20)
The gold rush marked the integration of California into the United States and many Chinese immigrants traveled to the coast to take part in the booming economy; ocean scientist Gary Davis explains why ranchers were drawn to the Channel Islands in order to farm.
William Wrigley Jr. (08:48)
As Los Angeles transitioned into the industrial revolution, the natural resource of oil began being enormously exploited; William Wrigley Jr. the inventor of Wrigley Gum bought the island of Santa Catalina. This island is the only one with a city, Avalon, and was the site of many Hollywood films during the Post-World War I era.
Restoring the Environment (09:10)
Once the US officially entered into World War II, Santa Catalina was no longer a Hollywood hotspot, but became a veritable warzone due to its proximity to Japan; the federal government decided to include most of the islands into the National Park Service. Plant ecologist, Dr. Kathryn McEachern, explains their effort to restore the ecosystem on these islands.
Chemical Effects (08:21)
As the National Parks Service collaborates with other organizations to restore the islands, ecologists are learning more about the effects of human migration on ecosystems. Over and misuse of pesticides have further devastated the islands and have even lead to the slow disappearance of the brown pelicans.
Credits: Restoring Paradise (06:12)
Credits: Restoring Paradise
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