Judge gives seal of approval

April 23, 2013 by  

The latest in the ongoing battle between seal advocates and those who think ‘The Children’s Pool’ beach area at La Jolla Beach should be available for swimming, is a ruling favoring the seals.

Those El Cajon residents with out of town visitors to entertain can still take them to see the seals frolicking in the sand. Photographs suitable for postcard printing can be taken from outside the rope barrier.

Judge Joel Pressman, of the San Diego Superior Court refused a request to issue an order to shorten the barrier protecting the seals. He also refused to overturn Mayor Bob Filner’s order that the beach remain off limits to the public at night. Judge Pressman based his ruling on a state legislative decision that granted City Council the right to designate the area a marine mammal habitat park. In doing so, the city overruled the original tidelands grant that favored the children over the marine mammals.

‘The Children’s Pool’ developed due to a sea wall built in 1931. The wall blocked off a channel from emptying to the south and an enclosed pool area formed. The pool became less child-friendly over time according to some, with a dangerous rip current and easy access to deep water. These same conditions made it more attractive to seals. In 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service recognized the beach as a harbor seal rookery and natural haul out location, and today it offers a rare opportunity to see seals up close and personal.