A seal happily soaking up the sun at the
La Jolla Children's Pool in California
Photo: Wiki Media CommonsThe California Coastal Commission yesterday voted unanimously to protect vulnerable harbor seals by closing Casa Beach (also known as La Jolla Children’s Pool) in the La Jolla area of San Diego to human activity during the seals’ critical pupping season.
In February 2014, following years of local contention over this issue, the City Council voted 6-3 to close Casa Beach during the harbor seal pupping season, which left the final decision to the California Coastal Commission. Well, the vote is in and the seals have won! Sea Shepherd applauds the City Council and the Coastal Commission for making the compassionate and sensible choice to protect these animals and allow them to raise their future generations without fear of human intervention.
The beach will now be closed to beachgoers from December 15th to May 15th each year — the traditional breeding season during which the seals give birth to and nurse their pups onshore. The seals have faced harassment and even assault at the hands of humans on the beach, despite a rope put in place to keep people away from the nursing seals. This change will go a long way toward securing them the protection they need to safely and peacefully care for their young.
Sea Shepherd has advocated for the protection of the seals of La Jolla for several years, even working for a time with our friends at the local grassroots organization Seal Conservancy (formerly La Jolla Friends of the Seals). We have continued to speak out on their behalf at every opportunity. The Chapter Coordinator of Sea Shepherd San Diego was present and spoke at yesterday’s meeting. Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson even appeared before the San Diego City Council in 2004 to speak against an ill-conceived proposal to dredge the seal colony habitat. So, this victory has been a long time coming! Thank you to all our supporters who over the years called and wrote and demonstrated and spoke up for these beautiful animals. Finally, they will be able to live in peace and continue to enhance the natural La Jolla environment with their beauty.
CALL TO ACTION: Sea Shepherd asks our supporters to applaud the California Coastal Commission for doing the right thing and deciding to close La Jolla Children’s Pool during the seal pupping season. Please use the contact information below to send them your thanks so that they will continue to take a positive stand for marine life.