Oxnard in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The House of the Sea
Rest Stop for Weary Travelers
— Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area —
Mariners would paddle as far as the Channel Islands, fish the open waters, and return to this lagoon in front of you and the nearby Chumash village of Muwu.
Today the crossing to Santa Cruz island takes about one hour by powerboat or five hours by tomol under calm conditions. Can you image paddling a tomol for hours through the deep and often choppy waters of the Channel.
In 1997, members of the Chumash Maritime Association built this tomol, called ‘Elye‘wun (Swordfish). A group of Chumash paddlers is shown here during a 2006 crossing to Limuw (Santa Cruz Island).
Rest stop for weary travelers. As you stop to stretch along CA 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), imagine the thousands of birds that touch down here every year at Mugu Lagoon. Can you see any today?
Some birds are residents.
The open beach in the distance ahead of you provides critical habitat for one threatened resident—the snowy plover. This bird lays its eggs directly on the sand, so it requires an undisturbed shoreline for nesting.
Erected by National Park Service in cooperation with Naval Base Ventura County.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 34° 5.978′ N, 119° 4.801′ W. Marker is in Oxnard, California, in Ventura County. Marker is at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway (California Route 1) and Mugu Canyon Rest Area, on the left when traveling north on Pacific Coast Highway. It is at the Western Gateway of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 233 Pacific Coast Highway, Oxnard CA 93033, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. F-14 Tomcat (approx. 2½ miles away); Alaska Flight 261 Memorial (approx. 7 miles away); Hueneme Slough (approx. 7.1 miles away); Bank of HuenemePoint Hueneme Lighthouse (approx. 8.1 miles away); Olive (approx. 8.2 miles away); "La Jenelle" (approx. 8.4 miles away); American Beet Sugar Factory (approx. 8.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oxnard.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Cumash People. Excerpt:
The first modern tomol was built and launched in 1976 as a result of a joint venture between Quabajai Chumash of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Its name is Helek/Xelex, the Chumash word for falcon. The Brotherhood of the Tomol was revived and her crew paddled and circumnavigated around the Santa Barbara Channel Islands on a 10-day journey, stopping on three of the islands. The second tomol, the Elye‘wun (“swordfish”), was launched in 1997.(Submitted on August 14, 2020.)
On September 9, 2001, the first “crossing” in the Chumash tomol, from the mainland to Channel Islands, was sponsored by the Chumash Maritime Association and the Barbareño Chumash Council. Several Chumash bands and descendants gathered on the island of Limuw (the Chumash name for Santa Cruz Island) to witness the Elye‘wun being paddled
2. Wikipedia entry for Mugu Lagoon.
Mugu Lagoon is a salt marsh located within the Naval Base Ventura County at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains in Ventura County, California. The lagoon extends for 4.3 miles parallel to a narrow barrier beach. The first European to come ashore here was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo on October 10, 1542. Cabrillo was the first European to visit present-day California, and he named it Muwu, which is Chumash meaning “beach” or “seashore.” When the Europeans first discovered the lagoon, it functioned as the capital village of the Chumash Indians settled around Point Mugu.(Submitted on August 14, 2020.)
The Calleguas Creek, and its tributaries such as Arroyo Conejo and Arroyo Simi, discharges into the Pacific Ocean at its estuary in Mugu Lagoon. Historically, Calleguas Creek flood flows spread across the floodplain and the deposited sediment created the rich agricultural lands of the Oxnard Plain. With year-round agriculture in the
Additional keywords. Professor Emeritus and Mrs. George E. MacGinity; Marine and Estuarine Biology
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 13, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 13, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.