Corbitt's National Parks
     California Coastal
               National Monument


2000: National Monument

Size: 883 acres

2008 visitors: ?

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

Designated by Presidential Proclamation on January 11, 2000, the California Coastal National Monument runs the entire length of the California coast (840 miles) between Oregon and Mexico, extends 12 nautical miles from the shoreline, and includes thousands of Bureau of Land Management-administered islands, exposed reefs, rocks, and pinnacles above mean high tide.

Cooperatively managed with other federal, state, local government, universities, and private interests, the primary purpose of the Monument is to protect important biological and geological values. The islands, rocks, reefs, and pinnacles provide forage and breeding grounds for significant populations of birds and sea mammals.

This is one of the fifteen BLM-administered National Monuments in the nation. Most are very new (the oldest dates from 1996), and the BLM is still determining how they should be operated and protected. The BLM has vowed to work closely with the public in coming up with a management plan for California Coastal National Monument.

The proclamation recognizes the importance of the rocks, islands, reefs and pinnacles in providing habitat where seabirds, seals and sea lions find protection from predators and humans. The proclamation also recognized the significance of the geology and archaeological resources.

What You're Going to See

The California Coastal National Monument includes over 11,500 rocks, islands, exposed reefs, and pinnacles off the California Coast totaling approximately 883 acres along 840 miles of coastline. It does not include the major islands, such as Santa Catalina and the other Channel Islands, the Farallon Islands, or the islands of San Francisco Bay. The average size of rocks and islands in the monument is less than .07 acres.

Personal Observations

I learned about this Monument in the summer of 2004. There's a lot I still don't know. No, really. For example, I played in the California surf every year growing up, for maybe fifteen years. Does this count as a visit to a National Monument? I'm afraid I have to say, no. Before I can tick this one off my list, I'm going to have to appreciate a pinnacle or a reef on public BLM-administered land.

And what about a stamp for my Passport? I can't answer this one either. Do I need to find the closest Field Offices, and hope they have a stamp there? Since the park is young, and since both I and the BLM are new to this Monument business, you will just have to wait for an answer. What's the annual visitation number? I! Don't! Know!

Getting There

Go to California, and head west. No matter the road, no matter the transportation, eventually you will find this Monument.

Gee, I crack myself up sometimes.

Nearby Attractions

Again, since this Monument encompasses the entire coast of California, there are plenty of Park attractions within 100 miles. Cabrillo National Monument is in San Diego. Joshua Tree National Park is inland from Los Angeles, in the desert. Santa Monica National Recreation Area curls around the northern part of Los Angeles. Channel Islands National Park are best reached from Ventura, about 35 miles west of Los Angeles. Pinnacles National Monument is east of Monterrey by about 40 miles. In the San Francisco area you'll find Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, Fort Point National Historic Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, John Muir National Historic Site, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park, and Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Monument. Just north of San Francisco are Point Reyes National Seashore, and Muir Woods National Monument. Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area is about 100 miles east of Eureka, just north of Redding. Redwood National Park is about 50 miles south of the Oregon border. Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument borders I-5 just across the Oregon border.