Community View: Shared use needs some boundaries

By Ellen Shively

La Jolla Friends of the Seals

At the core of the problem at Casa Beach is the city’s ill-defined policy on “shared use.” Sharing is a good thing. Who can oppose sharing?

Beach access users claim they simply want to enjoy the beach. Humans can go anywhere anytime and the seals can go anywhere at any time also, say their signs.

Where do we demonstrate the intricate balance of privilege and mutual obligations between ourselves and the other species requiring use of this beach? The balancing works when the boundaries are made clear. They are not made clear at Casa Beach.

The city chooses to ignore a fundamental fact of human nature so apparent at this site: the overpowering dominance in which we choose to engage our right to “use” the beach. Not every use of anything, including public places, is compatible with every other use.

Shared use does not describe the impacts of unrestrained shared use. We must define it, and that description is missing. The enjoyment of wildlife demands a certain humility, restraint and yes – boundaries.

The doublespeak needs to end to restore order to this chaotic scene at the Children’s Pool.