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Santa Catalina Island

The environment of the Channel Islands is unique to the rest of the world and is home to an abundant amount of sea life and endemic species of plants, animals, and insects. The Southern Channel Islands include Santa Catalina, San Clemente, Santa Barbara, and San Nicolas. The Northern Channel Islands include San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa.

Catalina is orientated towards a west to east angle, parallel to that of the mainland. It is a small island, only 76 square miles (about twice the area of Manhattan), 21 miles in length and 8 miles wide. The isthmus, only 2 miles wide, is situated on the north end of the island. The Catalina mountains range between 1000-2000ft (about twice the height of the Empire State Building) above sea level.

The precipitous mountains protect a picturesque town called Avalon from the trade winds blowing from the northwest. Avalon is situated along the southeast corner of Catalina Island and overlooks a calm crescent shaped bay. Avalon is only one square mile and yet, the town’s historical events shaped the neighboring mainland and the world throughout the ages and continues to do so.

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