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Corsair Yacht Club
1198 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Suite D-107
Seal Beach, CA 90740
 Corsair Cove:
33.28.1 N
118.31.8 W 

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Catalina Island Conservancy Marineros

Fellow Corsair Yacht Club Members,

 

During our Cat Harbor Cruise this last weekend many of us circumnavigated the whole Island of Catalina. To me it was special, the weather was great and we were able to snorkel many spots along the way. The experience reminded me of how specials our club’s relationship is with Catalina. Our trip around the backside on our way to Avalon Sunday let me appreciate the beauty of the unspoiled Island. The Catalina Island Conservancy takes care of the Island for us all to enjoy.

 

I have had the great pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors of the Catalina Island Conservancy Marineros since 1996. If you have joined the Marineros, the largest of the support groups serving the Conservancy, I want to thank you. If you have not joined the Marineros, I encourage you to read on and consider doing so. Corsairs as a group use the island and this is one way of giving back to the island we love.

 

The more involved I have become with the Conservancy, the more impressed I am in its mission and effective stewardship of the Island. The Conservancy is unique in that most conservancies restrict human access. Not the Catalina Island Conservancy. Embedded in their founding documents is the mission to Conserve, Educate and Recreate. So, while the Conservancy is a serious environmental steward of the Island, it also provides remarkable opportunities for visitors to experience and learn about Catalina’s physical environment.

 

The Wrigley and Oldfield families founded the Catalina Island Conservancy in 1972 as a non-profit organization, now one of the oldest and largest private land trusts in Southern California. It protects 88 percent of Catalina Island (42,135 acres), including more than 62 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves—the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline left in Southern California. More than one million people visit Catalina every year.

Following is a summary of the Conservancy's goals and achievements:

 

RECREATION

  • Hosted hundreds of thousands of hikers and campers in its ever-expanding trail network including the 38.5-mile Trans Catalina Trail. This comes with the responsibility to provide domestic services along these trails including waterless eco-friendly restrooms and shade structures.
  • Maintains the 165-mile roadway network serving Catalina while providing Eco Tours throughout the island.
  • Operates and maintains the Airport in the Sky.
  • Opened the environmentally certified Trailhead Visitor Center and Toyon Grill. This is a must see when visiting Avalon.
  • Maintains dozens of seaside infrastructure improvements at camps and remote coves.

 

CONSERVATION

  • Brought back from near extinction the Bald Eagle and Catalina Island Fox.
  • Maintains the herd of American Bison living on the island. While American Bison are not indigenous to Catalina, they are an important part of the Island’s history and function as a primary attraction to visitors.
  • Restored the Island’s natural landscape by removing pigs, sheep, goats, cows, and countless non-native species of plants.
  • Protects the over 60 endemic species of plant life found nowhere else in the world.
  • Restored the Whites Landing Exclosure. This can be found between Avalon and the Airport at the road leading down to Whites Landing. It is a fenced area that restricts invasive access to a garden of the endemic plant life of Catalina.

EDUCATION

  • Has educated hundreds of thousands of children and adults in the natural environment of Catalina and its unique flora and fauna.
  • Provides multi-level Naturalist Training for all ages.
  • Hosts the popular Last Friday Lecture Series.
  • Summer Naturalist Intern Program.
  • Manages the Nature Center and the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden in Avalon Canyon.

FUTURE

  • Building on the goals and achievements previously mentioned to enhance the Conservancy ability to provide Conservation, Education and Recreation to all for decades to come.
  • Expanding membership interaction opportunities through information technology and interactive website upgrades. New website and membership platform to launch by end of 2022.
  • Improving the Island’s infrastructure serving land, sea and air.
  • Improving sustainable power and domestic water sources.
  • Improving fire mitigation strategies.
  • Bison herd additions.

MARINEROS MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS & ACTIVITIES

Membership in the Marineros offers you firsthand opportunities to take part in many unique and special events on Catalina. These events benefit from the attention of skilled Conservancy staff who make every participant feel special and appreciated for their support.

  • Annual BZ Jones Cross-Catalina Hike & Semi-Annual Thad Jones Trans-Catalina Hike
  • Two Harbors day-hike with lunch and naturalist presentation.
  • Island tours which can include, Ackerman Native Plant Nursery at Middle Ranch, The Wrigley Institute and Wrigley Marine Science Center, El Rancho Escondido and Bison Expeditions (TBD).
  • Discounts at the Trailhead and Toyon Grill.
  • Fifty percent off camping discount at Conservancy campsites.
  • Annual cycling passes for your family.
  • Unlimited admission to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden for you and your family.

A comment by Conservancy CEO Tony Budrovich that resonates with me is “The Conservancy operates like a National Park, however, it receives no government funding.” The Conservancy and the monumental mission it undertakes is dependent on its endowment, donations, Conservancy Ball (founded by Corsair YC), support groups and Trailhead revenue.

 

As a frequent visitors to Catalina, Corsairs need to Join the Marineros. Every time we look from the shores of Southern California and sees the unblemished profile of Catalina, as Corsairs and as a member of the Conservancy Marineros we can take great pride in knowing that we are doing our part to preserve and protect this regional treasure.

To learn more about the Marineros or to join, please visit www.catalinaconservancy.org.  Under JOIN select a membership at the Adventurer level or above, and then add Marineros under Support Group.  Or you can contact Gina Nelson, Sr. Membership Manager at 562-437-8555 x1224 for more information or to sign up by phone.   I appreciate your consideration and am happy to answer any questions.

 

Sincerely your friend and fellow lover of Emerald Bay and all of Catalina Island.

 

SC Randy Boelsems

Board Member and Past President, Catalina Island Conservancy Marineros

Member Board of Directors, Catalina Island Conservancy