Community View: Beach party offends regular visitor

By Jillian Abood

McLean, Virginia

I've been visiting La Jolla in the summertime for the last 20 years. My family and I always enjoy going to see the seals multiple times on our visits here. We arrived (May 31) and the first thing we did was visit the seals.

Last night when we arrived at the beach, we saw a group of about 20 people who were grilling and lighting fires near the seals. They had a huge "OPEN" sign that they had planted over the rope that protects the seals' space, and they were intimidating the seals.

When I asked them what they were doing, I received answers such as, "the seals like the fires, it warms them up" and "why should we care about the seals." One woman called them "the rats of the ocean." There were human footprints in the sand where people had walked right past the noses of the seals. The air smelled of fire and it was clearly making the seals very nervous.

I know the beach is controversial, but there are miles and miles of beach where these people could enjoy themselves, and they have decided that there is no place for seals and no place for compromise. They see the seals as a cause célèbre, and they were at the beach for the sole purpose of harassing the seals.

I found it appalling, and that's why I'm writing to you. My family and I believe that the beach should be open, but a line should be drawn in the sand and people should leave the seals alone. I've walked down there many times to see the seals, but I don't go near them or bother them. What I saw last night was so upsetting that I have forwarded this letter and my pictures to the City Council members as well.



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