Group learns beach cleanup is Coastal Commission work


By Ashley Mackin

At the Aug. 26 La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) meeting, Children’s Pool was the center of attention. City Park & Recreation Department District Manager Dan Daneri explained the legalities involved with any beach cleaning at the Pool and LJP&B Chair Dan Allen read a response to the group’s suggested guidelines for the Seal Cam stationed there (currently in storage).

Later, Phyllis Minnick provided an update about her fundraising efforts for the proposed Coast Walk beautification project, and the group was informed about Cove cleanup, District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s new community representative, and the La Jolla Cultural Landscape Survey.

■ Wrack cleanup

Daneri came to the meeting to address reports he’s received about the “wrack” at Children’s Pool. (Wrack is described as anything that washes up on shore; in this case, lots of kelp that is drawing sand flies to the beach.)

He told La Jolla Light it is the responsibility of Park and Rec employees to collect the wrack with tractors and load it into a dump truck at beaches where a Coastal Development Permit is not required and the wrack is accessible to their equipment, such as at The Shores. However, at Children’s Pool, the city equipment cannot access the wrack and private citizens are not allowed to remove it without a Coastal Development Permit as required by the California Coastal Commission.

Daneri said he would report any updates regarding wrack removal from the Coastal Commission at the next LJP&B meeting.

■ City responses

At a previous meeting, LJP&B voted to send a letter to the city suggesting guidelines for the live streaming Seal Cam at Children’s Pool, based on subcommittee concerns that the camera is being “misused” by aiming it at humans and areas of the beach where there are no seals. The letter contained eight guidelines for camera operators.

Though the camera has temporarily been taken down (due to the lifeguard tower construction), the letter was sent anticipating its reinstallation. Allen said he determined that the appropriate department for the letter was the lifeguard service, so he sent it along with photos of camera “misuse.” The lifeguards’ response indicated they are considering guidelines for camera operations and “would be happy to consider” LJP&B’s suggestions.

Responding to requests from LJP&B about the stench cleanup at the Cove, Allen said he received a note from Councilmember Lightner’s office indicating the second phase of the Cove cleanup is scheduled for early September. The message, which Allen read aloud, reported that Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists have been observing the area every few days for nesting birds. Once the biologists confirm that the nesting period is over, the second round of cleanup will begin.

■ Coast Walk fundraising

LJP&B treasurer Phyllis Minick opened her report by saying, “If I have another month like this, you’re going to have to scrape me off the ceiling! Every day since work began on the new lifeguard tower, I have had donations come in.”

Thus far, she reported, LJP&B has $40,000 in hand for the Coast Walk project, which would replace 11,000 square feet of cracked sidewalk above Children’s Pool. There is also a $25,000 promised donation, as well as non-monetary donations, such as Casa De Manana offering its space for fundraising events or meetings. “The community has stepped up in a most remarkable way,” Minick said.

One detail that has yet to be finalized is which method will be used to thank the donors who support the project. One option discussed is having small plaques, three-by-six-and-a-half inches, on natural objects like trees and boulders, thanking donors. Another option is to have one large plaque with all the donors’ names at a central location, like the new lifeguard tower, once built.

“Some years ago, we had concerns about too many signs and too many benches popping up around the coastline ... so we want to keep things as natural as possible,” member Patrick Ahern said.

One previously discussed option was naming rights, though Daneri said that was not possible. Further, he would have to hear a more definitive plan on the plaques before lending his professional opinion.

■ New representation

Greg Parkington was introduced as the new community liaison for Councilmember Lightner. Though he has been with Lightner’s office for a few years, Parkington said he’s been reassigned to attend LJP&B meetings and handle park and beach issues. “I look forward to getting to know all of you,” Parkington said.

■ La Jolla Cultural Landscape Survey

LJP&B decided to form a subcommittee to contribute to the La Jolla Cultural Landscape Survey, a list of places and things that “make La Jolla, La Jolla,” said Ahern. This inventory would be given to the city so it would know which areas have special significance to the community; what needs protecting.

The City of San Diego has been conducting this survey for more than 10 years, Allen reported, but is now coming to La Jolla and requested input from the board. Ahern said that places, such as the pebble-cobbled walls at Children’s Pool, certain buildings and historic trees, would be items that make up La Jolla’s cultural landscape, and suggested they be included in the list.

— Those with suggestions may attend the next LJP&B meeting, 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23 at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.