Seals at Children’s Pool

Focas en La Jolla

Photo by Matthew Hickey. Published under Creative Commons License 2.0

Seals at Children’s Pool: A jewel along the La Jolla coastline, Children’s Pool at Casa Beach attracts both human beachgoers and a harbor seal colony, a somewhat contentious gathering.

SUMMARY (updated Nov 9, 2015)

Since 2004, Coastkeeper has been engaged with groups and individuals who are involved in the efforts to secure a safe environment for the seals at Children’s Pool at Casa Beach through temporary closure of the beach and possible designation as a marine mammal park. Coastkeeper respectfully offers the following positions regarding the harbor seal rookery and haul-out at Casa Beach:

Coastkeeper supports the protection of the harbor seals in the following manners:

  1. We support the Coastal Commission’s approval of the beach closure during pupping season (Dec 15- May 15) and the subsequent amendment to the San Diego Municipal Code (§63.0102(e)(2)) in order to allow the seals to birth and nurse their pups without disturbance.
      1. We support prohibiting people from accessing the beach during this limited period as it is in the best interest of the people and the seals to allow the seals to remain undisturbed during this sensitive time. Female harbor seals can become aggressive if they feel that their pups are being threatened. Additionally, human interaction with the pups at this stage can cause seals to be separated from their mothers and become abandoned.
  2. We encourage vigorous enforcement of this municipal code ordinance as well as the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 which prevents the hunting, harassing, capture, or killing or any marine mammal, or attempt to do so. (16 U.S.C. 1362)
  3. We support the decision to permanently install the guideline rope and signage discouraging visitors from getting too close to the seals. The rope is meant to act as a buffer between humans and the seals on the beach. Coastkeeper also encourages visitors to stay behind the yellow guideline ropes.
  4. We support the municipal code provision that prohibits dogs on the beach. ((§63.0102(e)(1)).