I love a good environmental success story, and a new 14-minute film called Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands tells one such story.
The film had its premiere last Saturday at the Channel Islands National Park visitor center in Ventura, Calif. Made by Kevin White and narrated by Peter Coyote, it documents the dramatic return of these birds to the islands.
Take a look:
Here's the back-story: Bald-eagle habitat on the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California was contaminated by the release of millions of pounds of DDT and PCBs into the marine environment by the Montrose Chemical Corporation between the late 1940s and early 1970s. While the dumping of this contaminated waste occurred off Palos Verdes on the mainland coast, it affected birds, fish and wildlife in a much larger area. Due in part to this contamination, bald eagles disappeared from the islands decades ago.
After years of litigation, the US government and the State of California reached a financial settlement with the company in 2001. Today, scientists working with the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (Montrose Program) are celebrating 13 bald eagle nests on 4 of the Channel Islands.
These eagles already have quite a following: Hundreds of thousands of viewers have watched them real-time through the Montrose Program Eagle Webcam.
Are you fortunate enough to have seen bald eagles in flight?