San Miguel Island to reopen to the public

San Miguel Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park, will reopen to the public Tues., May 17 in time for Memorial Day.

San Miguel Island is owned by the Department of Defense, which is represented locally by the commanding officer of Naval Base Ventura County.

In April 2014, the naval base asked the National Park Service to discontinue recreational visits to the island due to concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. The island had been used as part of a bombing range during and after World War II.

The closure was deemed necessary to ensure public safety until the Navy completed an Explosive Safety Risk Assessment to include an unexploded ordnance survey.

The Navy now states that public visitation of the island can be safely resumed.

San Miguel Island is on the National Register of Historic Places as an archeological district, home to lots of wildlife and vegetation. It supports over 100,000 seals and sea lions each year during breeding seasons.

The scenic island is northernmost of the Channel Islands, and has hosted 1,000 visitors and campers annually.

For more details, call the National Park Service public information office at (805) 658-5725.

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