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La Jolla Children’s Pool Rope Meant To Protect Seals Removed Today

A rope barrier designed to discourage people from disturbing harbor seals at the Children's Pool during pupping season was removed today.

Seals at the La Jolla Children's Pool on May 15, 2012, the day the rope was taken down.
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Above: Seals at the La Jolla Children's Pool on May 15, 2012, the day the rope was taken down.

The city of San Diego puts the rope up on Dec. 15., and May 15 is viewed as the last day of the six-month period for the seals to give birth and wean their young.

Bryan Pease, an attorney for the Animal Protection and Rescue League, said the beach was full of seals when the rope was taken away around 6:30 a.m.

"Seals continue to use the beach year-round, and when the rope comes down, tourists immediately start flocking to the seals, trying to pet them, and often unintentionally chasing them off the beach,'' said Pease, a City Council candidate who wants the rope to be kept up all year.

The Children's Pool was deeded to the city in 1931 to be used as a safe swimming spot for children. The seals began to use the area, sparking a years-long conflict between animal rights activists who want to protect the marine mammals, and beach access advocates who want it reclaimed for its intended use.

The battle is going before the California Coastal Commission in July.

Instead of just having a rope to discourage people from going down to the beach, a majority of the City Council wants an outright ban on beach access during pupping season, and for a rope to be kept up the rest of the year.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 15, 2012 at 2:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

This entire "children's pool" debate is based entirely on a lie that the media allows anti-seal activists to perpetuate.

Ellen Browning Scripps did **not** deed this land to the city in 1931 as people have been duped into believing.

**Scripps paid for a sea wall to be built on top of the beach. The state then conveyed the beach to the city soon afterward.**

This ridiculous notion that some woman owned the beach and then gave it to the city with promises of a "children's pool" is a myth perpetuated by affluent families in La Jolla who feel entitlement to this public land.

In the 1930s well to do families rented summer cottages nearby, spending leisurely days on the coast, swimming, picnicking, strolling and watching the sunsets - and letting their kids swim there.

They developed over these decades a sense of entitlement to the beach and a desire to have their children enjoy the beach the way they did when they were kids.

I don't know why this is even still being debated.

There is no legal obligation that the city must spend tax dollars building and maintaining a children's pool.

Kids and adults alike seem happy having a place to observe seals.

The "children's pool" maniacs need to quit perpetuating lies and give up on their insane quest to re-live the 30s.

During the 1930s, affluent families rented summer cottages nearby, spending leisurely days on the coast, swimming, picnicking, strolling and watching the sunsets.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 15, 2012 at 5:35 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

So when one of these tourists tries to pet one of the seals and pulls back a stump, are they going to sue the city for not having a rope up?

The logical and best action to minimize liability for the city (and protect taxpayer $ from lawsuits) is to simply prohibit access to the beach year round. That is best for humans and best for seals. Win-win.

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Avatar for user 'sealfocas'

sealfocas | May 19, 2012 at 10:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

@Peking Duck: 1. Labeling people as anti-seal is STUPID. The accurate label would be "pro-access". Should we call the "pro-seal" people anti-children? 2. To focus on "affluent families and their so called "entitlement" instead of bringing up facts makes you look like a whiner who despises people or families who have more money than you. This is still America, the land of opportunity where many people still want to come to. Get a job that will earn you more money and be happy with what YOU have! @CA Defender: 1. Careless people who pet seals (and I have seen them do it) do not get bitten because seals are timid and would rather flee into the ocean. Even if they did get bitten and sued the city, so what? 2. Your solution to simply prohibit access to the beach to minimize liability is faulty. Should the City prohibit people from walking on the ocean bluffs all over La Jolla because they might fall and then sue the City? Do your homework and get all the facts about the artificial beach at Children's Pool (CP) before you come up with simplistic solutions. Then you would know that if the City does not follow the CP State Tidelands Trust of 1931, the City will be sued. It is currently being sued as of May 1, 2012 for violating section (b) of the trust which guarantees the "absolute right to fish....with the right of convenient access....". Again, do your homework!

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Avatar for user 'KP'

KP | February 21, 2013 at 3:57 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Peking_Duck_SD
(1) The city of San Diego had made a agreement to maintain the Pool signed by at that time San Diego Parks and Playgrounds, now Park and Recreations
(2) The State placed it in trust to the city to maintain it for such purposes.

Children's Pool Tidelands Trust
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

Section 1 of Chapter 937 of the Statutes of 1931 is amended to read:

Section 1. There is hereby granted to the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, all the right, title, and interest of the State of California, held by said state by virtue of its sovereignty, in and to all that portion of the tide and submerged lands bordering upon and situated below the ordinary high water mark of the Pacific Ocean described as follows:

Beginning at the intersection of the ordinary high water mark of the Pacific Ocean with a line bearing S. 87* 40' W. from the monument marking the intersection of Coast Boulevard south Boulevard South with Jenner Street as said monument, said Coast boulevard south Boulevard South, and said Jenner Street are designated and shown on that certain map entitled "Seaside subdivision number 1712" and filed June 23, 1920, in the office of the county recorder of San Diego County , State of California; thence N. 350', thence E. 300', thence S. 185' more or less to the ordinary high water mark of the Pacific ocean, thence in a general southwesterly direction along the ordinary high water mark of the Pacific Ocean to the point of beginning, all in the Pacific Ocean , State of California, to be forever held by said City of San Diego and its successors in trust for the uses and purposes and upon the express conditions following, to wit:

(a) That said lands shall be devoted exclusively to public park, marine mammal park for the enjoyment and educational benefit of children, bathing pool for children,, parkway, highway, playground and recreational purposes, and to such other uses as may be incident to, or convenient for the full enjoyment of such purposes ;

(b) The absolute right to fish in the waters of the Pacific Ocean over said tidelands or submerged lands, with the right of convenient access to said waters over said lands for said purpose is hereby reserved to the people of the State of California.

(c) That there is excepted and reserved to the State of California all deposits of minerals, including oil and gas, in said land, and to the State of California, or persons authorized by the State of California, the right to prospect . . .

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