The issue of seals at La Jolla Children's Pool resurfaced in a March 17 agenda item on the Natural Resources and Culture Committee docket. At the committee meeting, San Diego councilmembers Donna Frye, Carl DeMaio, Sherri Lightner, and Marti Emerald will consider a new ordinance for Children's Pool. The committee will look into three different options. The first would restrict access to the beach during pupping season, which runs from January to mid-April. The second would be to leave the rope that runs the length of the beach up year-round. The third alternative is that the council designates the Children's Pool a “marine mammal park.”
For people fighting to restore the beach to a joint-use beach, without rope barricades and without harassment by seal activists, the new ordinance is an example of city officials disregarding the rights of its citizens.
"All we want to do is share the beach with seals like we have shared it for decades," writes John Leek, secretary for San Diego's Council of Divers. "We are willing to share and the seals are willing to share, why are the activists so selfish and greedy? They stole the treasure from the children, now they won't share it with anybody."
For Leek and those like him, the city never had a valid permit to put the rope barrier up. He points to a March 4 report from the California Coastal Commission: "The appellants also assert that the City has already installed the rope barrier even though the appeal is pending and the coastal development permit is not effective...."
According to the Coastal Commission staff report, the rope does not "result in adverse impacts on public access."
The Pinniped predicament at La Jolla Children's Pool will come ashore in council chambers at the Natural Resources and Culture Committee's March 17 meeting at 1:00 p.m.