Beaches are one of the most visible and popular habitats in California, and the Channel Islands has spectacular beach habitat. Beaches on the islands can be relatively long, or very small pocket beaches, surrounded by rocky reef or cliffs on both ends.
A beach’s constantly moving sand creates a dynamic, rich and productive intertidal habitat. In fact, thousands of mobile animals live along every foot of the shoreline. There are two main sources of organic material for beach food webs: microscopic phytoplankton (which nourish filter feeders) and drift seaweeds from nearby kelp beds and rocky reef algal communities.
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