New Film Puts Recent Bald Eagle Hatching into Perspective

Just a day after news spread about the first bald eaglet hatching on Anacapa Island in 60 years, a documentary film about the restoration of bald eagles on the Channel Islands premiered. A few hundred people gathered Saturday at the Channel Islands National Park visitor center in Ventura for a World Oceans Day event where the short film was presented.

As the film explains, chemicals produced by the Montrose Chemical Corporation in the Los Angeles area were discharged into the ocean, infecting the regional marine ecosystem. Bald eagles, which feed on fish, began to lay eggs with shells too thin to sustain offspring, resulting in the extinction of the Channel Islands population.

A successful lawsuit against Montrose beget the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, which is composed of six federal and state agencies working to restore the resources harmed by DDT. In 2002, the recovery process began. Today 60 to 70 bald eagles are known to live on the islands, and the population is expected to grow.