Shores finalizes details of new ‘Map’ at the beach


When oceanographer and local icon Walter Munk came to Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1939, he studied the depths of the ocean just off the shoreline in La Jolla Shores. One of the first papers he published researched the submarine canyons, referred to by Munk as “The Grand Canyons of La Jolla.”

Now, Munk and his wife, Mary Coakley Munk, president of the Friends of La Jolla Shores (FOLJS), are willing to contribute $275,000 to the rehabilitation of The Map at Kellogg Park in the Shores, which is a visual representation of the sea life and underwater bathymetry there.

The Map was first installed in 2008, but soon after, the recycled crushed glass it was made from began to loosen, crack and create a safety hazard. By 2015, the surface was removed and the city deposited decomposed granite in its place.

“Since the time we installed the Map, they have produced a product called Litho-Mosaic, which is individual pieces of tile that have color all the way through, so it’s most attractive. And even if a couple of pieces did come out, it’s tile so you replace those,” explained Coakley Munk, adding that the new Map would be made from this more resilient material.

At its June 8 meeting, the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) passed a motion to approve the conceptual design that FOLJS agreed upon after negotiations with the city. The latest sketch has a fence that fulfills the requirements of FOLJS’s agreement with T.B. Penick, the company that installed The Map in the first place, and addresses the Park & Rec Department’s concerns. It provides accessibility and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The majority of the fence’s cost would be covered by T.B. Penick, which agreed to pay $50,000 for materials and insisted on the installation. “Enclosing the area is a safety issue so people aren’t biking through or skateboarding through. It’s also a maintenance issue; it’s impossible to keep The Map clean if it’s a pass-through,” Coakley Munk said.

The proposed design for the fence will match the blue color of the adjacent playground equipment and contain representations of Garibaldi, the California State Fish. “We are trying to keep everything as educational as we can,” she said.

Coakley Munk also shared some ideas being discussed to make The Map area “even more exciting,” she said, suggesting a bathymetry (representation of the depth of water in the ocean) and a monitor that would stream live video of marine life offshore. Later this month FOLJS board members will meet with city officials to go over the details.

In other LJSA news:

New beach signs: The City of San Diego has placed signs at the entrances to La Jolla Shores park to remind visitors and beach-goers of the municipal ordinances that rule the beach. The signs arrived before the Fourth of July festivities during which many people traditionally break the law against camping on the beach. LJSA board members expressed their satisfaction with the signs, which they said were easy to read and “looked good.”

UCSD parking update: The first four levels of the UCSD Athena Parking Structure opened June 2 on Health Sciences Drive, near some of the campus medical facilities, such as Thornton Hospital, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and Ratner Children’s Eye Center. It offers 466 Patient or Visitor parking spaces, and 225 Faculty spaces. Two additional levels are scheduled to open June 29 and make available 225 more Faculty and 336 Staff and Grad Student parking spaces.

Pesticides at the park: Trustee Terry Kraszewski requested the board discuss at its July meeting, the city’s use of glyphosate (or Roundup) on park lawns.

A Shores MAD? The board began brainstorming ideas for improvements that could be funded by the establishment of a Maintenance Assistance District (MAD). Some of these included a new boardwalk, roundabouts, a dedicated park ranger, and a bike lane. President Nick LeBeouf directed board members to ask their neighbors “left and right” for input. “We need to know what we want, if we are going to start this process,” LeBeouf said.

La Jolla Shores Association next meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 at 8840 Biological Grade. More information at