There is a very contentious 10m of beach in La Jolla. Why? Because seals want to use it...
Back in the 1930s a breakwater was built to shelter this small strip of beach. Ellen Browning Scripps, a philanthropist, had the structure built and donated the land to the city (along with adjacent coastline and lots of other great spots), such that children could frolic while being protected from large waves. Hence the name, "Children's Pool."
This area is populated by numerous harbor seals and much of the area was deemed a Marine Mammal Reserve in 1992. Around that time, the seals started to use the Children's Pool. Over the years it had become a sandy beach, and the calm waters make for a great place for pups to refine their swimming skills. Hence the name, "Seal Beach."
Here is a pup on Seal Beach.
The seals now pup here annually, and as a result the sand/inlet is polluted by their waste. The fecal coliform levels are dangerous to humans and the entire beach would have to be dredged, and the sand replaced, in order for it to be safe. People come to the breakwater walk way to watch the seals, and perhaps needless to say, there aren't any children on Seal Beach. Or, there weren't.
The fate of the Children's Pool/Seal Beach has now been in court for years. The Children's Pool People say, dredge the beach and create a barrier so the seals can't get back on it. This is a "Children's Pool", after all. The Seal Beach People say, leave the f*&%ing seals alone. La Jolla cove is a 2 min walk from Seal Beach. It has an underwater breakwater and NO seal pollution.
A rope, of all things, lies at the heart of this controversy. When the rope is up, people cannot go on the beach, and the seals occupy it continuously. This rope was mandated for the last pup season. The judge noted that when startled or stressed, seal moms may flee, abandoning their pups' in the process. And, people coming onto the beach, is stressful for them. However, now that pup season is over, the rope is down and people occupy the beach.
The seals, however, want their beach back. So, they constantly monitor the water's edge, waiting for the coast to be clear, so to speak. The seals park themselves on a rock 30m away, but like to use beach sand as sunscreen, and this one beach is the only spot around were they have/had access to sand.
Meanwhile, parents (who must be geniuses) allow their kids to swim in the highly polluted water. And the kids, love seeing the seals. Below is a short video I took on my phone last week. Watch for the seal bobbing its head out and look at the beach, but more importantly, the kids trying to get close to the seal. I watched it happen dozens of times.
What is wrong with these parents?! Sure, the beach is much less crowded than those nearby, but the water is literally full of seal s*&t (and harmful bacteria!). Childless thought I am, I'm pretty sure its not a good idea to let your 3 year old try to play with a wild seal, which has 3 inch canine teeth.
As you may have guessed, I am a Seal Beach Person. Haven't we humans taken enough of this planet? We really can't spare this one little beach? Brutal.
On another note, the skeleton that resides in my living room officially has a name. DEAD GUY LaFleur.