Taking a stance against local seal activists


By David W. Valentine

La Jolla resident

According to the Light’s Feb. 11 article, seal activists want the city to treat the Children’s Pool:

  • As a rookery:

Then no group, even Hubbs-SeaWorld, could make “rescues” or remove dead animals.

  • Encourage enforcement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act:

It is not the city’s responsibility to enforce federal laws pertaining to marine mammals.

  • Keeping a 50-foot separation by installing a permanent rope and restricting crossing over the line:

A permanent barrier is in violation of the California Coastal Act.

  • Replacing signage stating that the beach is open at all times:

In accordance with state law, the beach IS open at all times.

  • Eliminating the “shared use” policy:

The city never supported shared use by guarding the rights of its citizens against harassment by activists.

  • Barring dogs from the beach completely:

If you are going to ban people, then you may as well ban dogs as well.

  • Prohibit fishing from the sea wall:

According to the state constitution, citizens have a right to fish in state-controlled waters. The right to fish is also specifically addressed in the trust document.
The city’s authority over the Children’s Pool extends from the mean higher high tide line inland. Water seaward of this is controlled by the state.

The city was given the Children’s Pool by the state under a trust. The city has never effectively managed this area. It is now required to do so. Any management plan which would satisfy seal activists would, of necessity, require eliminating beach access to the Children’s Pool for 750,000 children in San Diego County, the very group to which the swimming beach was originally dedicated.