Children’s Pool seal rope barrier cut; seal advocates cry foul

By Dave Schwab

The seal rope guideline barrier separating humans from harbor seals during the marine mammals’ pupping season was found severed early Friday morning Dec. 23.

“This is exactly why the City Council voted 6-2 last year to have the rope up year-round — so we don’t have to be playing these games back and forth with the rope,” said attorney Bryan Pease of the Animal Protection and Rescue League, about the rope’s being cut.

Noting a “small group of individuals” don’t like the seal rope and are protesting its existence by setting up tents and beach umbrellas on its seal side, Pease said, “People don’t need to be on the beach during pupping season and the vast majority of people agree with that.”

Seals have yet to successfully pup this year at the pool, but Pease added, “They’re very pregnant.”

The rope barrier, which went up Dec. 15 and will remain up until May 15, has been a bone of contention for years between seal advocates who believe it’s needed to prevent harassment of seals, and pro-beach access proponents who say the city’s shared-use policy at the pool is working, and that the rope is unnecessary and a violation of the public’s constitutional right to ocean access.

After the rope went up Dec. 15, pro-beach advocates challenged its legitimacy, saying its dimensions were incorrect. City work crews Dec. 19 subsequently shortened the length of the rope barrier, sparking a controversy over the width of an opening for human beach access.

About 18 feet of the rope was removed to make the barrier comply with a permit issued by the city to its Parks and Recreation Department, which calls for it to be no more than 130 feet long with an opening no narrower than three feet, city spokeswoman Rachel Laing said.

The rope, installed at the designated start of the five-month season for seal births, measured 148 feet, so it had to be corrected, according to Laing.

However, animal rights advocate Pease said the workers left the opening seven feet wide, more than twice that intended by the City Council, which voted last year to have the rope up year-round.

“The widening of the opening signals the city is now further defying its own council resolution to keep people out of the seal (breeding area) during their pupping season,” Pease said in an e-mailed statement.

The rope is taken down for the other seven months of the year. The opening of the Children’s Pool without the barrier is 133 feet wide.

The area near La Jolla Cove was gifted to the city in 1931 as a safe swimming zone for youth, but was taken over by the seals years ago, resulting in a face-off between animal rights activists and advocates of beach access.

In March, the California Coastal Commission, meeting in Chula Vista, is scheduled to consider keeping the rope barrier at Children’s Pool up year-round.

City News Service contributed to this article.

Related posts:

  1. Coastal Commission staff looking at Children’s Pool jurisdiction issue
  2. City Council votes 6-0 to ban dogs at Children’s Pool
  3. SeaWorld staff treating injured seal from La Jolla’s Children’s Pool
  4. Planning Commission denies year-round rope barrier for La Jolla Children’s Pool
  5. Appeal of year-round rope barrier at Children’s Pool is Dec. 9

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Posted by Dave Schwab on Dec 14, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

126 Comments for “Children’s Pool seal rope barrier cut; seal advocates cry foul”

  1. James

    When he says "…the majority of the people want the seals and don't want to disturb them…" makes me wonder where he's getting this information. Who was polled? Who conducted the poll? and how was it done? If your mission is really to educate people about the beach then you need to show proof of work not just throw out statements.

  2. Jason

    In 2007, APRL sponsored an independent, scientific Zogby poll that found strong support for protecting the seal rookery <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( Scientific polls in 2009 and 2010 by Competitive Edge and SurveyUSA found similar results.

  3. Danny

    California has over 2700 miles of beach. Anyone that has been to the Children's Pool can see that this tiny couple hundred yards has become a safe haven for the seals. Walk a short distance and you have plenty of access to other beaches.

  4. MDSD

    Hi James, there have been several polls that have shown that San Diegans (and La Jolla residents specifically) support having the seals at Casa Beach. I know from personal experience bring my nieces and nephews and out-of-town guests there that people from out of town feel the same way. It's such a great experience to be able to see the seals while not disturbing them in their natural habitat (west coast beaches were occupied by seals long before Europeans arrived and built up the coast). I'm happy the rope is back up and hope the seals can continue their colony in our town.

    • Toptuna

      How is a man made beach natural habitat?? Please inform me because by your comment I feel like I am missing something. I mean I started taking natural vitamins compared to man made chemical vitamins. Are they the same?????

    • James

      What poll? Please tell me the names of these polls and where I can read there findings.

    • Kenneth

      Actually prior to humans "building up the coast," seals did not usually bed on beaches because that would cause them to be endangered from different predators. Humans drove out the predators. Infact, the seals do not need to beach to birth. They do not need it to survive. They go there because they like it, just like we do.

  5. Teagen

    This has been a hot issue for so long. There has been a huge response form the public in favor of protecting the seals, from attendance at city Council meetings, demonstrations, calls and letters to local officials, letters to editors… My out of town friends are mystified that there is even a debate about this. This small safe nook for the seals to have their pups in should be a matter of civic pride. Remember kindness? Sometimes helping others is better than having more for your self.

    • toptuna

      Oh so your out of town friends know more about what is going on down here? Wouldn't it be great if I could vote on issues in their area. Please let me know where they are from so I can help out in their area. I wouldn't be surprise if it was in San Fransisco. They shut down some natural habitat (a pier) for seals up there.

  6. Dorota

    Independent Zogby Poll 2007 that showed that more than 80% of San Diegans and about 90% of La Jollans want seals protected.

    • Ryan

      The seals ARE already protected…. by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

    • La Jolla Resident

      The questions in the Zogby 2007 Poll were set up by the APRL and were blatantly biased in favor of garnering a response in favor of the vegan animal rights group. The elementary school poll that the APRL also likes to cite was later referred to as overly bias by the poll creator in this news forum.
      The majority of the people in La Jolla would like the APRL and SealWatch to go away so the Children's Pool can return to the wonderful place it used to be.

      • toptuna

        I agree they are making it not very peaceful for the retirement home right across the street.

      • James

        I don't think you can counter what you believe to be deceptive polling practices ("Zogby 2007 Poll… blatantly biased…") with made up statistics "The majority of the people in La Jolla…" (if you do have a source please cite it)

    • Toptuna

      Seals are already protected. You cannot harvest them or harass them. I think 99% is more accurate.

    • James

      If "90% of La Jollans want seals protected" why did Sherri Lightner (the person elected to speak for La Jollans) vote against the rope barrier?

    • toptuna

      HEre is one video where one guy accounts for 38 sharks in a 2 hour dive in La Jolla. Once again proving that you are completely ignorant as how our oceans eco system works.

      Dorota why don't we use this articles comments as an independent poll. You see the public can voice their opinions here about the seals. It seems to be overwhelming in support of beach access for the public with the comments from this news article. I would like to call this the CP news article polls of December 2011. Results Pro access 81%

      By the way I live in La Jolla and I was never given a chance to vote for the 2007 Zogby poll. Seems as though you just asked your pals for votes. Please make it public when you will putting out your biased poll with political wording.

      • James

        Where's the video? And just because there are sharks in the ocean (which is where they should be from my understanding of how are oceans eco-system works) does not mean they pose a threat.

  7. Leti

    There is definitely plenty of other places for humans to enjoy the beach. I have personally been there before when some idiot decided to go down there to harass the seals. Luckily there were enough people to force him to reconsider. I think the ropes need to be up ALL YEAR!

    • Toptuna

      Really??? So their sole intent was to harass the seals? I find that to be a lie.

    • toptuna

      Leti so their sole purpose was to go down and harass the seals????? I mean that sounds like something someone from occupy wall street would do – harass someone who is going to work and making a living for their family.

  8. Shelley Martin

    Why do people think they have the right to everything?!?! Selfish! Why can't the seals have their place? There is plenty of coastline to share. Just because someone has a fond memory of the past doesn't mean they can't replace it with a fond memory of the presence and how they allowed the seals their place in nature and enjoyed seeing them?

    • Ryan

      I think it's reasonable to think we have the right to a man made beach which was built and entrusted through law for the sole purpose of human use??

      How do you react when termites invade your home? WOW YOU ARE SO SELFISH TO EXTERMINATE THE TERMITES, YOU KNOW THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT!!!

    • Butch

      They do have their place! Their place is in the wild not in a swimming area constructed for children.

      These seals need to be removed and put back in their natural habitat- the rocky coastline. Our children and those people entering the water need protection- not marine mammals.

  9. Andrew

    People love going to see the seals! Why would San Diego want to disrupt a major tourist attraction so a few people can have yet another beach in San Diego? Walk a few blocks and go to another beach!

    • Toptuna

      Major tourist attraction?????

    • toptuna

      It is not a major tourist attraction. "A" for effort though.

    • James

      I don't know if you can call it a "Major" tourist attraction but I am frequently asked "Where's Seal Beach?" Being a wise guy I generally tell them they have to get on the 5 North to the 405… Then I tell them that they're really looking for the Children's Pool and give them real directions.

    • toptuna

      HEre is one video where one guy accounts for 38 sharks in a 2 hour dive in La Jolla. Once again proving that you are completely ignorant as how our oceans eco system works.

    • toptuna

      Also I wanted to show you that on the Local La Jolla newspaper they do not even post it as a tourist attraction. You would think that if it was such a huge revenue stream that the local newspaper would advertise it right? Well it is not. It is just a money maker for APRL and SEALWATCH. It pumps no money into the local economy

  10. Ryan

    The beach is man made and for humans. We are willing to share it with the seals. The rope is a barrier to the lawful purpose of the beach and should not be up at all.

    Harbor seals are one of the most abundant pinniped species on planet earth, and there is both the seal rock adjacent to children's pool as well as a large colony on point loma.

    Do not support a rope barrier on the beach! Do not support eco-terrorist Bryan Pease!

    • guess who??

      Bryan Pease for President!!!!!!

    • James

      That's a position I understand. I can respect the idea that the beach was built and donated for children. And that even IF shared use fails and the seals are scared away it will not mean the end to the species.

      I do feel a rope with signs explaining it's pupping season and a ranger to teach people how to live in harmony with nature adds a nice touch.

  11. Bob

    We have so many miles of beach! I can't believe these people have been fighting for years to prevent a tiny, tiny portion of it to be dedicated as a place where the seals can live their lives undisturbed by humans. and where we can enjoy watching them. This fight is just so senseless!

    • toptuna

      Yes if you are narrow minded and do not see there is a bigger picture then yes you would be right this fight is so senseless. But if you enjoy have freedoms and keeping your rights then this would not be senseless. You must be one of those occupy wall street people and not contribute much to society.

  12. justiceforall

    humans are NOT the only species on this planet, despite how we may act. doesn't everyone's mom teach them how to share? WE can Google for a new beach to play at, the seals (or any other species for that matter) don't have that luxury.

    • Toptuna

      Actually the seals do have the luxury to go to the la jolla reserve. You wanna have "Justice for all"? Bulldoze your home and give it back to the coyotes. I mean come on you need to share the earth. Unless you are gonna give the coyotes a key to your place I think you should flatten your place.

  13. Ryan

    Funny, Nobody has mentioned the legal binding Trust under which this beach was created in the first place in 1931. Or the fact that the seals only started inhabiting this beach in the mid-90's AFTER SEAWORLD started dumping rehabilitated seals there instead of going offshore like they had in the past. Don't forget, nothing about this beach is natural and the main motivation for the APRL/FOS is to continue not having to get real jobs while they scam tourist dollars to support a cause that doesn't exist. Seals are not in danger. Another seal rookery exists in Pt. Loma… but ya'll wouldn't know that because you don't research facts or spend time on the water and in real nature. The real motive is to exploit the seals for a tourist attraction.

    • toptuna

      Weird why would anyone mention that there is a trust to keep this beach for the children. I guess because there is not money for keeping it for the children for APRL and sealwatch.

    • lovinglife

      Who cares you moron- the seals are there now. So bah bye. The have won in my book!

  14. Jared

    I can't believe how crazy some people are. Make the Children's Pool a protected marine reserve? IT'S MAN MADE! If you want the seals to have natural habitat, then they should be banned and driven away from the Children's Pool, so as to not make them dependent on UNATURAL formations. Leave it as a shared use facility. That way if the seals feel the need to leave, they will and maybe come back, maybe go to another location. A NATURAL creature, should not depend on a manmade structure to reproduce.

    • James

      You don't think there might have been seals on the rocks before the wall was built over them?

      • toptuna

        In fact there were seals on the rocks before CP was built. Rocks are natural habitat for seals. Sand is not natural habitat for seals. Get your facts straight James.

        • James

          I'm sorry what fact did I have wrong? Didn't you agree with my thought that there might have been seals on the rocks before the wall was built? I'll grant you the beach is man made and the idea of it being for people to use is not insane. But even you just said the area at one time WAS a natural seal habitat.

          • toptuna

            Yes but do you not understand that "sand" is not a natural habitat. Fortunately the population has been growing with "shared use" as the activist would not want you to know. There is a large rock a 100 yards from the CP that is a seal rookery on a rock(natural habitat in case you did not know). There were no resident harbor seals in 1992 at the Children's pool. Thanks to Sea World they released rehabilitated seals there and it created a small Sea World with everyone pointing fingers at who is responsible. There is a little lesson for you.

            Now my question for you is what is your solution? Is your solution to give this beach to the seals? What happens when the activists get their way where will they make their money? What will they do with themselves?

            Let me inform you they will want the next beach and then the next beach until the whole sandy coastline is filled with seals pooping on the beach.

            Sure you stated a few facts but you have no real knowledge of what the sea life does in the area.

          • James

            I seem to recall seals living in the area prior to 1992 mainly on the rock across from the pool.

            I like the shared use concept it seems to be working. But if we lived in a black and white world (shared use being a gray area) I'd pick giving it to the seals.

          • James

            I never said the sand was a natural habitat nor did I imply it was! I said the ROCKS the wall was built on was a natural habitat. You're very confusing.

          • Seal Team 6

            Also it was mans natural habitat too, Im talking about the native american Indians that hunted and slaughtered the seals on those same rocks to feed there tribes.

  15. Ashley

    The seals are fine!!!!!!!!!! They do not need this little tinny spit of land that was built FOR THE CHILDREN OF LA JOLLA!!!!!! They are perfectly fine sharing the beach with people. The population of the seals is INCREASING to the point of over population WITH SHARED USE!!! OMG!!!! If any of you pro closure people would do some research instead of being over emotional and illogical you would see these facts and understand there is nothing to fight for! The seals are not on ANY endangered species list and California is closing so much of our waters up and down the coast that to let them and you take yet another beach from the people would be criminal………… Oh and by the way it is not a 'natural habitat"!!!!! And I am pretty sure that the seals do not need life guards but kids, swimmers, and divers do!! Get over yourself and go do some good in the world like educating yourself or help save an Actually Endangered Species!!!

    • James

      What source did you use to determine that the seal population in La Jolla is to large?

      • toptuna

        One can find out by
        A. comparing how many seals there were on the beach in 1993 to the present day population.
        B actually getting in the water and seeing all of the seals.

        I can bet that you have done none of those.

        • James

          That would tell you how many there are and how the colony has grown but not tell you if the colony is to large for the area. You might feel the colony is to large all I'm asking is for some type of scientific data to back up your claim.

          • toptuna

            Scientific data? I just told you first hand data. Is there really a reason to waste money on doing scientific research on a colony of seals that are not in harm in any way shape or form.

            Let me ask you James why is there a recent influx great white sharks and seven gill sharks in southern California? Do sharks migrate because of food or just because they feel like it ? Do sharks eat seals? Are shark populations growing because there is a lack of food?

            Clearly you have no clue. Sorry buck step aside on this one.

          • James

            Just because you see more of them doesn't mean there are to many!

            As far as sharks are concerned I'll pass that off on San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum and the La Jolla Light

            "The number of local sightings of sevengills has increased, said Lerum, though he wasn’t sure that was because there are more of them or because water users are more aware they’re out there and are looking out for them."

          • James

            And those are all good questions that we have no actual answer for just a bunch of theories.

  16. Kristy

    As a visitor to the area earlier this year, I found it breathtaking to see the seals in their natural habitat. People opposing the protection of these animals need to reconsider their position and get some perspective on how significant this sanctuary is for the seals. Why oppose something that brings visitors and business to the area, as well as serving as an educational tool for children and adults alike.

    • toptuna

      It does not really bring business to the area. It only brings business to the animal activist table down there. It helps fund the lawyer Bryan Pease. You are right though it does bring business I guess. As far a sanctuary it is not for the seals nor is it pertinent to the survival of the animals. The seals are not endangered as well. The only danger is the great whites in the area.

    • Ashley

      I Love educating my son at Children's pool. The first time he got to snorkel in the pool he was so fascinated and excited!! That is true education! Seeing the fish, the crabs, even lobsters was an irreplaceable experience for him. And being able to see the seals in the water come up to him and check him out gave him the biggest kick of all! They are so graceful in the water and curious. How can someone say that that experience is wrong?!?!?! My son has a great respect and understanding of the sea and I wish every parent would take their kids out in to the water and experience that just once and then tell me that that pool should be closed down to children forever! The only thing my son can not understand is why anyone would want to take this amazing, one of a kind, safe place away from the children of San Diego. Can you???

      • James

        And now we even have a Ranger to help educate people on the wildlife and respect for nature!

      • say what?

        What about the Great Whites every one is so afraid of? is your son waiting for that?
        The anti- seals keep using that as a weapon to rid the beach of the seals. OOOOOh careful!

        • James

          There has never been a great white attack in La Jolla and there has only been one confirmed great white attack in the history of San Diego County! Why would you need to fear White sharks?

  17. Danny

    California has over 2700 miles of beach. Anyone that has been to the Children's Pool can see that this tiny couple hundred yards has become a safe haven for the seals. Walk a short distance and you have plenty of access to other beaches.

    • Toptuna

      Yes but if you check out the other closures that are in the area you will see that there is more room for seals and less for humans. It is easy to make statement based on complete ignorance based on your little knowledge of seals, the ocean, and la jolla. Thanks for your comment though.

  18. gurunsi

    The people that use the beach will simply ignore any rope and go past it. They do not care about any of this animal activist emotional dribble.

  19. Eddy

    That beach was created by humans for Children to have a safe area for wading, swimming and learning to snorkel, away from the crushing surf north and south of that cove. I like seals, but the beach should be shared, and not taken away from people who need that unique pool for safe swimming and diving. Let the seals use the 2700 natural miles of beach mentioned above; Childrens Pool was built for children..If we build another, and the seals move in, I guess we'll lose that one too?

    • guess who?

      I hope you get an eye infection whilst swimming in the Bacteria laden pool.
      If the animals like the place and feel safe there, who are we to say they can't be there and safely have their babies- are you completely heartless?

  20. 4RBeach

    People talk about a compromise but we have already compromised by the amendment of the trust. When are the seal activist going to compromise, yet they call us "selfish"
    We can share, we have for 16 years since Sea World and Mayor Susan Golding created this, the greatest boondoggle in San Diego's history.
    It was people like Scrips, Horton and Marston who foraged San Diego in it early days to what it is now, to dishonor this special gift to the people of San Diego is totally disrespectful. It is also a greater shame on the state of California as they excepted the gift / contribution of the funding of the sea wall in exchange for the trust of the pool.
    I hope everyone learns a valuable lesson, DON'T GIVE OR DONATE TO THE CITY OR STATE.

  21. La Jolla Resident

    Those who use children as a cheap propaganda item could not care less what children actually want and that is: to see the seals. The petty fight for these few feet of sand is not about children at all but is driven by a small group of spear fishermen and spear divers who are ignorant, uneducated, aggressive and disrespectful not only to the natural environment but the whole community. You can watch these bozos each weekend at the beach and just seeing their empty pathetic faces will make you realize that we are dealing with the redneck mob. Disgusting.

  22. Frank Sivada

    We seals and their supporters are making great progress. The forces of evil are being pushed back.

    However, two major issues remain to be resolved:

    1. Close the beach to humans and dogs year round. San Diegans are not capable of true shared use. ***The never ending anti-social and illegal actions of the anti seal thugs are copious examples of that.*** Seals are harassed daily.
    And people that attempt to protect the seals are regularly harassed by anti seal thugs. (I'd like to show you the video of this, but La Jolla Light will not allow me to post the link to the video that is posted on YouTube.)
    I know from first-hand experience that I will be harassed if I go onto the beach. It has happened in the past and is certain to happen again.
    Many of the pro seal people know this to be true. *** They merely need to go onto the beach to be harassed!!! And the police do absolutely NOTHING!!!

    2. Get Sherri Lightner out of government. Ms. Lightner has been instrumental in preventing the City Council resolution of 5/17/10 from being implemented.
    By doing this, she has violated her oath of office, hence deserves to be removed by the voters in the 2012 election.

    • Seal Team 6

      Great, now the seals are talking, next they will be voting, I just hope they will start paying taxes.
      Frank, if you or the seal wackos don't like the harassment, then don't go there!!!
      Frank Its a conspiracy, Sherri Lightner was on the grassy noel too…

      • James

        Seals paying taxes! That's funny! I see them laying out there rolling in the sand and swimming everyday and I think "I want to live there life"

  23. Joe

    The children of San Diego need a safe beach access. San Diego is a renowed surf destination…that should say something about its ocean. This place is called Childrens' Pool because it was created in trust for the benefit of San Diego children. No other safe beach access for children miles around. Don't be fooled by the argument that there are other beaches. There is a reason Ms. Script built this wall originally and called it "Children's Pool"

    Nobody is hating the seals. What part of shared use is so hard to understand? The "Animal Protection & Rescue League" and love-the-seal whackos are creating a false crisis to set up their tablesto ask for money. The only thing they are "rescuing" is tourist dollars right in their pockets. They are out there every weekend hawking t-shirts. And tourists are their prime targets.

    Polls. Pullllease. Skew the question, pay the fees to get signatures, and people will even vote to ban H2O from water. Look it up on youtube. Anybody can pay for a survey and ask misleading questions to get what they want. The bottom line is the almighty dollar to these eco-terrorists. If they win here, they have to create a new cause to exist and to ask for dough.

    Wonder why they don't care about seals at other beaches where tourists don't hang out. There is a seal haulout a few miles south. They ain't there because that's not where tourists and their dollars hang out. San Diegans don't fall for the scam but tourist dollars are what they are after. LOL.

    • peta

      Check you spelling Joe- It's Ms. Scripps.
      And who cares about all your nonsense babbling. The Seals are there now. Nothing else needs to be said.

  24. Wendy

    Surely La Jolla appreciates tourist dollars .Why would anyone visit La Jolla to see innocent animals harrassed? I say honor the rope and visitors can appreciate wildlife.

  25. shawh

    What kind of inhumane lowlife would deny a pregnant seal a resting place ? Some people just have no compassion… I feel sorry for them.

  26. rhalavais

    It amazes me how the pro-seal bunch so hates humans that it goes to any length to force unreal, unnatural restrictions on our enjoyment of a legally dedicated, man made feature of OUR beach. These seal lovers over people are mentally disturbed and should be institutionalized rather than being pampered. They are in serious need of some very strong medication and some very intense therapy.

  27. >>(west coast beaches were occupied by seals long before Europeans arrived and built >>up the coast)
    This is factually not correct. Because of the sparse vegetation along the beaches land based predators and indians would attack and eat any seals that tried to come ashore here. Seal rookeries have always been been somewhat non-existent on the southern California mainland. Look at old photos of the turn of the century or 19th century LJ Cove and La Jolla beaches. You won't see any seals.
    Sea World created the seal colony by dumping off their recovered seals there in the middle of the night instead of taking them out to San Clemente Island like they used to. The seals didn't decide on their own one day to crawl out of the ocean and set up camp at Children's Pool.
    They are attracting Great White sharks to the area, something that was a freak oddity before the seal colony was created. Before the seal colony at Children's pool there would be five or less seals at Seal Rock on any given day. Now there are hundreds in the area. A lot of lives are being put in danger so that people who never use the ocean can feel good about seeing some seals lie on the beach. Seals that wouldn't care if they were out on San Clemente island instead, like they used to be.

    • cyberKICK

      Wow, really well said! If the seals were to leave the beach, according to Marine Biologist Doyle Hannan PH.D, he says they will simply haul out somewhere else (personally, I would guess somewhere more appropiate). He says dredging the beach, cleaning the sand, and possibly scaring the seals will not hurt the seals, the colonly, or the population. They will be just fine.

      • James

        Still seems to be a freak oddity today! There was one sighting this summer and one attack in 2008 not exactly an everyday occurrence that you seem to be afraid of.

  28. >Harbor seals are one of the most abundant pinniped species on planet earth, and there >is both the seal rock adjacent to children's pool as well as a large colony on point loma.
    Ryan, I grew up in Point Loma and used to surf every part of it, including the end of the point. There is no large colony there. There are a few that sleep on the buoys in the harbor but that's about it. There are no colonies on the mainland in southern California. The only large colonies are out on the channel Islands.

  29. Carol

    1) The rope was not put up illegally. It is perfectly legal and voted on by the San Diego City Council. Actually in 2010, the City Council voted on closing the beach during pupping season.
    2) The pro-beach group have stated that; "The pool should revert back to use as a shallow wading pool". Guess what? That's impossible. Water and sand has seeped onto the beach through holes in the seawall and it now truly a beach with waves like any other beach.
    3) The pro-beach group only want this small beach used as an entrance for them for diving and spear-fishing, This is not about using the beach for children.
    4) Polls have shown that the majority (91%) of children want this beach for seal-watching. They say they would rather watch the seals than swim there.
    5) Shared use doesn't work for the seals. The pro-beach group set up camp, including barbeque on Saturday on the seals side of the rope. Consequently, they flushed pregnant females and recently born pups off the beach all day. Without rest, these pregnant females can abort their pregnancy and the pups could die.
    6) The seals have been coming to this site for birthing and resting for hundreds if not thousands of years.

    • James

      1)The City Council doesn't always get what it votes for we have a system of "Checks and Balances" that applies to all levels of government. The Costal Commission is one of those "Checks"
      2)I'm pretty sure the City could renovate the CP if they wanted/could afford to do so.
      3)I'm sure there's a few people that would like it just for children don't be to hyperbolic.
      4)What polls? Are they formal polls conducted by a trusted polling service or in formal polling of children?
      5)How is shared use not working? Aren't there more seals every year? Aren't there more seals born every year? I was under the impression that people could cross the rope as long as they weren't violating the MMPA or am I misunderstanding the rope?
      There have been pups born this year already? That's odd I was informed at the Seal Watch table that the first pups typically aren't born till late January early February.
      6)Please cite a source showing that "seals have been coming to the are and giving birth for hundreds if not thousands of years". Is there fossil evidence I'm not aware of? I would gladly read any material you can provide on the subject.

      • cyberKICK

        Regarding the "polls" in your post. The one I know about was a very biased polling done where the people were asked questions after being prepped. Questions like "If seals don't get 10 hours of sleep a day they can drown, so don't you think they should have a place to rest?" etc. The questions were very loaded. Not a good, double blind survey.

        • James

          You can read the poll questions via the link provided by someone in and earlier comment you don't have to make them up.

          • cyberKICK

            I said "like…" I read the poll questions a long time ago. I haven't seen the link you are talking about. However, I do remember the survey, and the very attractive lady prepping people before the survey. Thank for though for pointing out you can read the questions. What the questions leave out is the prep work before the questions were asked.

  30. Guest

    Are seals good for eating?

    The Children's Pools is a man made beach that was intended for people to be able to take their children there and not risk them drowning. It's a nice spot, it's very calm with tiny waves and extremely shallow so small children won't get swept out to sea.

    People try to barbeque their fish and ribs there but are harassed by the seals. Some of the larger male seals get extremely aggressive and have several thousand tons of biting power.

    I think, if seals taste good, we should open up Children's Pool to seal hunting. They are an extremely common species. Seals are no where near being endangered.

    This is a beach for humans. The seals need to get out.

    The reason the locals want this place closed is that rich people hate tourists coming through and hanging out in their city. They also install fake no parking signs all around the area, but you and the police can't tell which ones are real so you still get a ticket.

    Seriously people don't want to look at a bunch of seals, they come here to enjoy the beach, and the beach is large enough for both seals and humans. There just needs to be someone on duty to kill the more aggressive seals.

    • James

      I'm not entirely sure the idea of opening up CP for hunting is a particularly good idea for a couple reasons.
      1) It's for children people with guns might scare them away
      2) It's an urban environment I'd hate for someone to get shot.

      • Seal Team 6

        This was the birth place for spear fishing on this beach, 1949 National Geographic did a story here with the original Bottom Scratchers, the first dive club in San Diego, and no one has been injured with spear guns on the beach, more people have been injured with glass on the beach that's why it's prohibited.

        • James

          When he said hunting seals I was picturing fire arms since they're a bit bigger. I don't know enough about killing things to know if a speargun is enough to take down a seal.

    • seals4ever

      You're an idiot!

      • Seal Team 6

        Yes we can tell you love the seals by your name and rude comment , you probably yell and throw rocks at the children on the beach too.

    • James

      You don't think anyone wants to look at seals? I've met a few people that enjoying seeing the seals and watching them not to mention a couple non-profit organizations that have a few members that go and watch the seals just about everyday.

  31. Davy Jones

    La Jolla Light,
    Please tell me why do you report that the city has removed 18 feet of rope at Children's Pool when they clearly has not! Don't you do some investigating reporting ? I walked by there and and noticed that they are short by at least 10 feet, please tell us why the city has failed to comply with the condition's of the permit.

    • James

      I was down there today and the rope looks a lot shorter then last week but I didn't measure it.

      • cyberKICK

        Initially, they only removed 4 feet of rope. Then the media (La Jolla Light, Union Trib, etc…) all reported that the rope was shortened to the legal limit. This was because that is what they were told. Parks and Recs made a mistake, and removet an additional 14 feet to reach the legal max. Now the opening is 18 feet, and the rope is about 130 feet long.

  32. Gurunsi

    Where does Bryan Pease get his information anyway? How does he know how many people specifically object to the rope? I guess we will find out at the California Coastal Commission hearings in March. Also, he states that the vast majority of people feel humans do not need to be on the beach during pupping season. Where does this information come from? Also he states the seals at the Children's Pool are very pregnant. How does he know how many seals are pregnant? How many of the seals are male and female? And what difference does it make, there is no evidence that people are interfering with pregnant seals at the Children's Pool?
    This is a public beach and beach access beyond any rope is legal.

    • James

      I too would like him to cite in statistics. The real problem (as I see it) with settling this issue is there are no real numbers to rely on. Some say there are to many seals attracting sharks also with none of the information you're requesting. Until that data is collected nothing's gonna change. Yes cyberKICK I know is going to point to testimony from a PhD in Oceanography that said "…the colony is not vital to the survival of the species" and that's where the ethical questions of how we treat animals around us comes into play. No one denies that the Pool was built and donated for children but over the course of 80 years is it unreasonable to think of changing the use of the area? Is La Jolla to be locked into the 1931 era? I think it's safe to say you couldn't get permission to build something like the CP today due to how we view the environment.

      • cyberKICK

        How about the trust that says "always and forever, and for all successors (or something like that)"? If an agreement like that is made, is 80 years considered "allways and forever"?

      • Davy Jones

        the trust states "Forever", not 80 years and were does it say anything about, "locked into the 1931 era" ? The trust does state, "and to such other uses as may be incident to, or convenient for the full enjoyment of such purposes". When the city was sued for breach of trust, the city argued that seal watching was an, "enjoyment of such purposes" but the courts ruled that seals contaminated the beach, and that it could not be a safe place for a "bathing pool for children" and the trust clearly stated, "bathing pool for children" and that had precedent over a use not clearly defined.
        However, the trust was amended last year and now it also includes, "marine mammal park for the enjoyment and educational benefit of children", just another use, it does not give the city discretion to chose one over the other.
        This is just section (a) of the trust there is a section (b) which states;
        "The absolute right to fish in the waters of the Pacific Ocean over said tidelands or submerged lands, with the right of convenient access to said waters over said lands for said purpose is hereby reserved to the people of the State of California".
        The Children's Pool is not just for children… it is also the birth place for spearfishing. formed by the oldest dive club in San Diego, the Bottom Scratchers .
        And your right, it's safe to say we couldn't get permission to build something like the CP today due to how we view the environment. So this is another reason we should preserve this wonderful gift to the people of San Diego.

        • James

          Haven't you said in previous comments that no one has ever gotten sick from the Children's Pool? And you just said the trust as been changed so can't it be changed again? I'm not even advocating that the beach's purpose should be changed. Just that the idea of "forever and always" is unrealistic expectation for the city/state to be held to and it's more for nostalgia then actual binding law. And how would the MMPA react to an attempt to remove the seals? Again I like the "shared use" concept and I think with the ranger it can work.

          • Davy Jones

            Hi James, the MMPA/ National Marine Fisheries, had stated many times to the city that they have there permission to disperse the seal at any time even without a permit! and when the judge ordered the city to do so, NMF's told the city to do so before November so the pregnant seals can find another place to have there pups. I too like the "shared use ", we have been for 17 years now, and every year is a record year for seal pups. There was that famous phrases, " can't we all just get along"…

    • James

      Thanks for regurgitating my initial post.

  33. BigDipper

    Let's see here…. This rope has been up 5 winters and nobody cut it. No sooner the opening is opened to its legal place than somebody cuts it. Who was unhappy? Who wants to create a scene? The divers, the beachgoers, the swimmers? No, they are happy. Who had the means and motive to create a crisis? The Seal Freaks are no crying foul – they are crying wolf.
    If terrible people set up tents and barbeques on the sea side of the rope with no compunction, why would they need to cut the City just opened up further? Who had a motive?

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