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Signs calling for people to stay clear of La Jolla sea lions are coming soon, Seal Society says

Guests to Scripps Park line the wall overlooking Point La Jolla to view the sea lions hauling out there.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Installation of planned city signage directing people to keep their distance from sea lions at Point La Jolla and La Jolla Cove may be imminent, according to the Sierra Club Seal Society.

Seal Society docent Robyn Davidoff told the La Jolla Parks & Beaches board on June 28 that two new signs were “in progress” and would be posted “in the next week or so” near the belvedere railing and near the stairs that lead to La Jolla Cove. She said a plan also was in progress to stencil a message on the short wall that separates the sidewalk from Point La Jolla.

Renderings, sizes and exact placement and wording were not available at the board meeting, but the overall message would encourage people to keep their distance from the pinnipeds.

The city of San Diego says it is willing to work with organizers on ‘alternative celebration ideas.’

Sea lion pupping season is recognized from June 1 to Oct. 31, and docents have been reporting people getting too close to sea lions and their pups during that time.

“The crowds that are coming in the evenings, especially on weekends, are quite unruly,” she said. “We have had to call the police to help with crowd control. We also have a few sea lions that seem to want to jump the wall because it’s mating season and the bulls want to claim territory and chase each other around the cliffs.”

San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, and city Parks & Recreation Department Director Andy Field announced June 1 that the city would design, fabricate and install signs at La Jolla Cove encouraging visitors to keep a distance from the sea lions that haul out there.

At the time, Field said the city anticipated getting the locations for the signs “locked down” in coming weeks and that the language for them was being drafted to “better inform the public about the pupping season and the steps they can take to keep themselves and the surrounding marine life [apart].”

“The language needs to be quick and easy to read, like ‘No smoking,’” he said. “The idea is to have similar signs about the need for social distancing away from sea lions [and] giving them a little bit of space while admiring them from a distance.”

LaCava told the La Jolla Light on June 17 that the signs and stenciling were “in the final stages of approval and should be posted soon.”

The La Jolla Parks & Beaches board meets June 28 online.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Other LJP&B news

Fence update: After submitting a letter to the city in mid-June asking that construction fencing be reduced and brought closer to the in-development Scripps Park restroom facility to allow more park space availability during the summer, LJP&B member Bob Evans said there was one more hurdle the city needed to clear before it could do that.

“There is going to be a plant establishment period, so before the city will allow total access … the plants need to be established, which they said would take 90 days,” Evans said.

He said a meeting was planned with a landscaper about the scope of the work and the plans for the area and whether the planting could wait until after summer.

“I hope to have positive news at the next [board] meeting,” Evans said.

LJP&B voted unanimously May 24 to ask for the fence to be moved in. Its letter included asking the city to expedite completion of an in-park sidewalk between Coast Boulevard and the Bridge Club, remove the fencing adjacent to the Bridge Club and reduce the footprint of the construction fencing, open the Bridge Club and adjacent facilities and widen the usable area of the sidewalk overlooking La Jolla Cove.

Taste of the Cove approved: After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, the Taste at the Cove fundraiser is scheduled to return this year in Scripps Park.

“We are thrilled and happy to try and return,” said applicant David Chao. “We do not plan to take up any more space than we have in past years, unless for some reason the [restroom facility] construction encroaches on our old space. It may shift slightly if the construction fences impede on our space.”

The Sept. 23 date is later than usual, he said, to “give ourselves as much room as possible given what was going on in the state and region, to give us more cushion to be as COVID-safe as possible.”

The event raises funds for the San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation, which supports a medical safety net for injured youths who have limited financial means.

LJP&B unanimously passed a motion to support the event. For information about the foundation, visit sdsmf.com.

Fay Avenue hillside cleanup: Steve Hadley, representing LaCava’s office, thanked the cleanup crew that recently removed debris from the hillside overlooking the Fay Avenue Bike Path.

Among the items cleaned up were debris, beer cans nailed to trees and makeshift seating.

Next meeting: La Jolla Parks & Beaches next meets at 4 p.m. Monday, July 26. It isn’t yet known whether the meeting will be online, in person or a hybrid. Learn more at lajollaparksbeaches.org. ◆