Santa Cruz Island: A Novel Story

Island Fever: Santa Cruz Island Inspires a Novel

Listen to T.C. Boyle describe what inspired him to write his latest book, set on Santa Cruz Island.


The story of Santa Cruz Island—and its incredible return from the brink of ecological collapse—is nothing short of inspirational.

The Conservancy’s successful island restoration and innovative conservation practices have inspired countless scientists and conservationists around the world. And now, it seems, Santa Cruz Island has inspired novelists as well.

Best-selling author T. C. Boyle—author of such works as The Tortilla Curtain and A Friend of the Earth—has written a new novel principally set on Santa Cruz Island and inspired by the Conservancy’s scientists and our work.

When the Killing’s Done tells the fictionalized tale of the island’s restoration and the inherent controversies that accompany such a complex endeavor. Boyle raises provocative questions about environmentalism and ethics, engaging the reader to ask their own questions and come to their own conclusions.

Island Fever Is Spreading

The winner of our Santa Cruz Island Sweepstakes — Jolie O. from Costa Mesa, California — recently caught island fever herself.

Boarding a boat for the two-hour ride to the island, Jolie and her guest kept an eye out for the many dolphins, pelicans, sea lions, whales and other marine animals that travel through the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Once on Santa Cruz Island, our guests enjoyed an adventure-filled weekend: exploring remote parts of the island; hiking to pristine beaches; learning from Conservancy scientists all about the flora, fauna and history of the island; and even spotting some of those elusive Santa Cruz Island foxes!

Thanks, Jolie, for joining us for a spectacular weekend!

Sweepstakes Details

The Santa Cruz Island Sweepstakes ended on May 13. Thank you to everyone who participated in our sweepstakes to win a trip to Santa Cruz Island.


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