Your View: Situation at Children’s Pool makes no sense

Ellyn Quiggle
La Jolla

Two weekends ago, it was sad to see the doe-eyed seals in the La Jolla Children’s pool waters, looking at the beach lined with people, but not coming up onto the beach, due to their fear. If the beach is to be truly shared, which it should be if people can be peaceful with the animals, the geniuses who implemented the barrier would have placed it perpendicular to the shore such that a section of unpopulated beach with water access is available to these animals to nurse their pups, while the other allows people to enter waters without disturbing the seals.

The blatant stupidity and escalation of this situation is heartbreaking, and placement of the barrier makes no logical sense. The seals are innocent creatures, a valuable educational asset, a tourist attraction, and need to be respected. People also have rights to enter the waters if they choose, but to line the shore, such that the seals are afraid to come up on the beach, is cruel.

There is a happy medium to the situation, which is sharing, which is possible with a sectioning of the beach that actually makes sense. When I first moved here over 15 years ago, the seals were present, appreciated and the use of the beach by people unrestricted. It is a shame to see animals that just want to do what they have done for years, tormented and driven off the beach, for no real reason other than satisfying the needs of fanatics.

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Posted by Staff on Apr 13, 2011. 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

4 Comments for “Your View: Situation at Children’s Pool makes no sense”

  1. michael

    There are so many inaccuracies and misunderstandings in your statements that I don't know where to start in response.As a person that has lived down the street from the Children's Pool for 30 years I can tell that you don't understand what is going on in front of your eyes or behind the scenes.
    I suggest that you talk to some of the "fanatics" (like the friends of the Children's Pool or the Diver's Council ) before you solidify your opinion…but I fear it might be too late

  2. fishinwithagun

    Woah, Ellyn, pretty strong language. "Tormented"!? Do you even think a seal is capable of feeling the emotion of "torment"? Not likely. Please, these animals are even less sophisticated than where that bacon you had for breakfast came from.

    Your observation of the seals not coming on the beach because of human presence is interesting. After all, the beach has a lifeguard tower, restrooms, showers, and is called The Children's Pool. Who are the ones to truly have priority on this beach? And you call those who use the beach because of its facilities and the sheltered entry "fanatics?"

    Really now? Let's see what the definition of "fanatic" is and see where it best applies.

    "a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics."

    So, this would probably apply to people like Dorota Valli, staffer of the SealWatch booth, who yells at children, and berates lifeguards for making a rescue of a 14 year old boy caught in a rip current, yelling "Save the seals, not the Children" as our local heroes escort the swimmer in?

    Or how about the Seal "fanatic"couple that copied a sign from the City of Carpinteria, and advertised that the "beach is closed" when in fact the Children's Pool beach is open. It was a violation of the law and the SDPD confiscated it.

    What about Andrea Hahn, threatening to file false police reports against those who with to not have their children filmed and yelled at when they use the beach?

    Lastly, how about Mr. Brian Pease himself, the head of SealWatch who tasered a man on the beach when an altercation was provoked by Pease and Friends of the Seals representative "Hudnuts".

    Or how about any of the La Jolla Friends of the Seals volunteers, who spend countless hours of their free time shooing people on vacation, spearfisherman, and beach goers alike off the beach to "protect" the seals?

    You see, when we scratch below the surface of your absurd rhetoric, we discover who the real "fanatics" are….

    Those who use the Children's Pool for beach access are simply enjoying themselves through recreational activities on a beach purposed for exactly that. There are no "fanatics"- simply swimmers, spearfisherman, barbequers, mandolin players, and oh yeah, CHILDREN.

    If you are worried about the seals, you really need to evaluate yourself Ellyn. Why don't you focus your efforts on something in need of saving, like the endangered southern California Steelhead trout? Oh right, its not "doe eyed" enough for you. Try thinking past your selfish and immature emotions to judge a situation rationally.

    The Children's Pool beach is for children and people, end of story. If the seals want to use it, they are welcome, but we don't need to bend over backwards for them. They are under the jurisdiction of the federal government and if they are truly being "tormented", let NOAA do its job. Otherwise, stop yelling at beachusers from the bluff top and writing asinine editorials.

    • npk32

      I don't even know where to begin with this comment.

      First of all, Ellyn didn't say that people are making the seals sad and slightly depressed by tormenting them. She said they're being tormented. Whether or not it was the right choice of word is one thing but it makes more sense than your bacon comment.

      Also, while you've got your dictionary out why don't you look up the word "priority?" As in, "who are the ones to truly have priority on this beach?" Do you honestly think humans have priority on this beach because we showed up and built restrooms and showers? I'm not saying seals have priority but just because we started putting up eyesores all over the coastline doesn't mean we have priority over it.

      Your parallels between fanaticism and the actions of the SealWatch members you described are fair enough. I agree that the type of behavior you described has no place in this issue at all.
      However, to tell this woman that she needs to evaluate herself because she's exhibiting "selfish and immature" emotions towards this situation is absurd. So what if she shows concern for this community of harbor seals? Their presence at the beach is obviously important to her and she, like many other people, enjoy seeing the seals.

      Who cares whether or not seals are endangered as a species or whether or not they're "in need of saving?" Why don’t you go up to San Juan Capistrano and bitch out all the people who want to see the swallows?

      And what if I told you that focusing on the Steelhead trout was a waste of time because the Monarch Butterfly is way more endangered? Oh right, you can’t stuff and mount a butterfly on your wall. From now on maybe you should just stick to the facts and stop judging people based on their personal concerns.

  3. Califia

    All families, swimmers and divers ever asked for is to not be excluded from this man made beach. Some seal fanatics want only that by accommodating their own preferred use to the exclusion of everyone else. An overwhelming majority of people enjoy interacting with the Harbor Seals nearby on the beach and in the water. A clearly defined corridor to access the water during pupping season is what should be established not the senseless, ineffective, illegal barrier blocking access at all times whether seals are there or not. The current configuration of the rope is illogical and just causes confusion and confrontation. If the ranger program can be resurrected the City should remove the rope and use some other guide markers to establish a sensible way to get into the water while considering the changing conditions on the beach each day. The use of a barrier rope is offensive when it makes no sense blocking an empty beach. The seals move all around the beach or sometimes will not be there at all. Any barriers or guidelines should be designed to maintain a safe distance between humans and seals and move with them each day and still allow ocean access. The City asked for shared use of this beach when it lobbied for an amendment to the State Tidelands Trust at Children's Pool. The Trust established that this beach was created for use by people. The Trust amendment added only one other use as a Marine Mammal Park along with the other uses. The City must follow the law and be a better manager of this public park. While you are at it, how about rebuilding the lifeguard tower and restroom facilities!

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