While over 20,000 rocks and islands are included in the CA Coastal National Monument, roughly 40 rocks off the coast of Orange County, California, were inadvertently omitted in 2000 due to jurisdictional issues. The Orange County Rocks and Islands consist of more than 40 offshore rocks, pinnacles, exposed reefs, and small islands, totaling less than two acres at the mean high tide level. These features are located within one mile of the Pacific coast of Orange County. In 1931, Congress reserved the Orange County Rocks and Islands for park, scenic, or other public purposes and in 1935, amended the reservation for lighthouse construction and navigation. The rocks contain unique geologic formations and provide some of the last remaining undisturbed offshore habitat in southern California for a wide variety of migratory and resident birds and marine mammals and a rich diversity of upper intertidal species. Because the U.S. Coast Guard no longer requires the use of these rocks and small islands for navigation purposes, the Orange County Rocks and Islands can be incorporated into the California Coastal National Monument to further the purposes outlined in Proclamation 7264, and will ensure management consistency and continuity of the National Monument along the California Coast.
Photo: ©Patrick Nouhailler