Busy week for La Jolla’s beaches


This was a busy week with ocean-related issues pertaining to La Jolla and environs involving the presence of harbor seals at Children’s Pool and the possible creation of a marine protected area allowing fish species to repopulate while placing them off-limits to commercial and recreational fishing. That decision was expected Nov. 10 following a hearing by the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force in Los Angeles.

The public comment period on a mitigated negative declaration released for a court-ordered city seal disbursement plan for La Jolla’s Children’s Pool ended Monday, Nov. 9.

“Depending on the number of comments and the complexity of responses, it will take anywhere from two to three weeks to prepare a final report which will be reviewed and certified by Stacy LoMedico, city director of parks and recreation,” said Cecilia Gallardo, assistant deputy director of the Development Services Department.

The negative declaration indicates there would be significant environmental impacts from the seal dispersal plan that can be compensated for should the courts order it.

At the end of September, Judge Yuri Hofmann was disqualified from hearing O'Sullivan vs. San Diego, the La Jolla Children’s Pool seal lawsuit that seeks to have seals removed and the pool returned to use as a children’s wading area. The case has been reassigned to Judge Timothy B. Taylor who has set a court hearing for Friday, Nov. 13, at 1:30 p.m. at Department 72 in downtown San Diego.

Attorney Paul Kennerson, representing O'Sullivan, is trying to get the city’s seal disbursement plan enforced by the courts. The plan calls for using amplified sound of barking dogs with water sprayed from hoses as a backup.

Seal proponents are seeking to have the dispersal plan tossed out as state legislation has been passed to turn the pool into a marine mammal reserve scheduled to take effect after the first of the year.

— Dave Schwab