Opinion: We should protect, not destroy, seal habitat

By Florence L. Lambert
La Jolla

Our piece of paradise, the Village of La Jolla, has been abundantly blessed with many natural wonders, among them, the seals who have chosen to grace us with their presence at the Casa/Children’s Pool. They truly are a community treasure.

In our fast-paced world, it’s a welcome diversion to watch these graceful creatures move gently in and out of the ocean, and rest contentedly on the beach. Observing the seals’ trust, peacefulness and harmony, and watching their unfettered natural behavior are not only pleasant and entertaining, it brings peace and harmony to our own souls as well. One leaves richer for having been there. To co-exist so closely with another species is indeed a rare privilege.

This small area is the only seal rookery on the Southern California mainland, south of Carpenteria. And it presents a one-of-a-kind educational experience for over a million people a year. It is ecotourism at it’s finest.

Our nation, along with others, decries countries that poach, cull or kill their wild animals. We condemn countries for encroaching on habitat and displacing wildlife. Yet some want to do here, that which we condemn in others.

I am ashamed of and saddened by the selfish, vocal, insensitive few who are trying to destroy this unique natural wonder. We have 73 miles of recreational costal beaches within San Diego County — that’s 385,440 feet of coastline. Can’t we allow the seals to have just 300 feet? After all, we have already seized, polluted and destroyed much of their habitat. According to the lifeguard census, in 2009, there were over 2 million visitors to the Casa Children’s Pool.

I would like to quote a friend of mine, Virginia McKenna, co-star of the movie “Born Free” and co-founder of the Born Free Foundation… “We can no longer pass through paradise in a dream. It is vanishing before our eyes and at out hands … Before it is gone forever, we must put ourselves into our true perspective as sharers of the Earth, as compassionate protectors, not as masters.”

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Posted by Kathy Day on Dec 1, 2010. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Opinion: We should protect, not destroy, seal habitat”

  1. Phony Bologna

    Have you not heard ? the seal have been saved!!! the trust have been amended.
    The seals can stay… You talk about how wonderful it is to To co-exist so closely with another species, but why can't swimmers and divers have that same experience and more in the water with them… they are not harming them…in fact the seals enjoy enter acting and co-existing with humans too… why do you think the seals haven't left ! Are you saying one can only look and not enter the water to enjoy these wonderful creatures ? Just because you don't or are afraid or can't enter the water, I can not… Who made you GOD!!!
    BTW, there is NOT 73 miles of recreational costal beaches within San Diego County, there is 73 miles of COAST LINE, and a lot is military property, Camp Pendleton, Point Loma , North Island, Silver Stand and parts of Imperial beach is off limits to civilians and most beaches are not covered and patrolled by life guards.
    You people better get used to the fact that this is a shared use beach and stop your Whining… or better yet tear down your house and give it bake to the squirrels and coyotes and move back to the country you came from…

  2. clk

    It seems that the seal lovers like "to watch the seals". When is the last time that one of them has gone down the steps to this stinking beach? Some are 'watchers" while others like to walk this beach, swim and snorkel; enjoying this same beach from a different perspective. The seals should not be protected any more, allow humans on the beach. Who will clean up the seal poop? Does anyone actually care that each born dead or alive baby seal is given a name NO ONE DOES! I like that the seal supporters who harassed visitors have been shooed away, they were not even American! Enough nonsense and money wasting. If you keep protecting the seals you will have to step over seal scoot on Prospect Avenue.

  3. Califia

    The City’s management by inaction has led to the current state of chaos at the beach and invited lawsuits to force the city to act in accordance with the Trust. Former city leaders should be held accountable and the current council must correct the past mistakes by continuing the shared use policy while seeking to reduce the seal population in the Children’s Pool. Discourage the buildup of animals currently using the pool and relocate animals that have been permanently imprinted to humans to a natural environment far away from daily human contact. The Children’s Pool can then return to the former balance with a seal population that has a natural wariness of humans. Truly wild seals would not remain with the close proximity of people. Seals will remain in the general area but not at the polluting levels of overpopulation.

    How can it be that someone using a public beach has to worry about criminal prosecution for having been in the presence of a seal? If the seal takes notice of the person, lifts it’s head to look or returns to the ocean should we criminalize that persons actions? Under the strictest interpretation of the MMPA, that event would be a criminal violation for disturbing a marine mammal. This is an outrageous view of human conduct and a violation of human rights to interact with his or her environment.

    The use of a man made pool, Children's Pool built for human use, while seals are present can hardly be considered harassment of seals. Yet many people have been intimidated away from using the Children's Pool by self appointed seal babysitters. There are lots of places the seals can move to if they were ever to feel threatened by the human activity at the Children's Pool.

    The overzealous attempt to ban people from Children's Pool by the pro seal activists should be exposed for the crime that it is. They should be moved away from the Children's Pool area until they learn to behave and respect the rights of all beach users. The constant harassment and intimidation by this group should never be tolerated and will lead to increasing problems as people resist their bullying.

    The evidence is clear that this problem was caused by the San Diego City Council's many years of mis-management of the Children's Pool. They did not react quickly enough to the overpopulation of seals caused by Sea World's misguided rehabilitation and release program and the assumption of authority by the seal activists.

    The seal activists will do anything to deny people legal access to Children’s Pool to save their open air pet shop. Given their way, all the seals will have cute names and people will have to wade through the sea of humanity at the La Jolla Cove to get to a sheltered ocean entry.

    Place no barriers to beach access at any time of the year. Continue the shared use policy, clean the beach and remove the pro seal / anti human terrorists.

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