Well folks, I can’t keep silent anymore. I’ve been biting my lip, avoiding the topic because it is SO RIDICULOUS but I have now reached my boiling point and I have to take the time today to remark on the issue of the La Jolla “Children’s Pool”. It seems that the Pacific Harbor Seal has found the perfect way to expose just how completely nuts we humans can be and how ineffective our judicial system can be at times.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, here’s a brief synopsis:
In 1931, the State of California conveyed this beach area of La Jolla to the City of San Diego.
Ellen Browning Scripps, then donated money to build a wall that slightly enclosed the beach so that children could swim there.
Harbor Seals, that have been sunning themselves on the rocks that the wall was constructed on for 100’s of years, found that the beach within the confines of the wall was a good spot too, so they became year round users of the beach.
About 15-20 years ago, a small number of nostalgic folks in La Jolla began lobbying to get rid of the seals at that beach because it was supposed to be a swimming beach for children.
This issue has been in and out of courts for YEARS now, and just last week, San Diego Superior Cort Judge Yuri Hofmann ordered the city to remove the seals from the beach. However, a federal court still has a restraining order against the city of San Diego to remove the seals, and so, Judge Hofmann’s ruling is still not final.
So here we are today…with what seems like 98% of the people of San Diego asking why this is even an issue?! And the other 2% whining and pleading and making sure that this area remains as it was “originally intended” as a children’s swimming area.
I do not need to get into the reason’s that this issue has been help up in the court system for over a decade. But it bears importance for me to harp on the fact that if we all just had a little more common sense, I wouldn’t be wasting my time writing about this. It is unfathomable to me that people are fighting so hard to preserve this area as a swimming spot for children when San Diego is home to over 60 miles of coastline. Not only that, but there are swim-able areas just a few hundred yards from this beach!
The one place in San Diego where wild harbor seals come to rest, and we can’t just let them kick it there in peace? Who are you people that are arguing to have them removed? What is your line of reasoning? It DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! Show me one kid that would want to go swimming at that beach as opposed to taking a dip at the cove 2 hundred yards to the north. ONE KID! You won’t find one. You now why? Because kids LOVE seeing those seals. Jim Carretta of the San Diego News Network adds another point saying that “[Ellen Browning] Scripps was responsible for the creation of Children’s Pool in the 1930s as a place where young children could safely swim. Today, I don’t think this argument that the children of La Jolla lack a safe place to swim stands up in the presence of the sandy expanse of La Jolla Shores beach”. I agree Jim, I don’t think that’s a valid argument at all.
And forget the fact that it’s a full blown rarity for wild harbor seals to have found a rookery in an urban environment. Or that the other nearest rookery for harbor seals is at Point Mugu, near Ventura, which isn’t available to the public because it’s on military property. And forget the fact that the people against the seals have proposed a $700,000(!!!!) plan to chase away the seals by installing speakers that have the sound of a dog barking from sunrise to sunset (possibly the most absurd solution I’ve ever heard in MY LIFE). And forget that everything involved in this dispute and what is entailed to get rid of the seals is not what our completely broke city and state needs to be spending their money on.
The real issue here is that those that want to preserve this area as a children’s swimming pool are stuck in a world that no longer exists and this legal battle is the only tangible thing they have to hold on to the La Jolla of their past. I am sorry that you have fond memories of that area as a child and that seals have now come to rest there. I’m sorry that perhaps these seals are bringing more tourists than you might like to your beautiful town and boosting business as well as traffic. And I’m sorry that some of you who are privileged enough to live that close to the ocean don’t love the smell that the seals bring with them. But I am not sorry for calling you all nuts. Whatever your reasons are for trying to get rid of the seals, they are not in the best interest of anyone but yourselves. And if, by some horrible flaw in our legal system you win this battle, I wonder how long it would take before you began longing for the return of that pungent smell of harbor seals…anything to get rid of those damn barking dogs!
For more information on the interpretations of law and this matter in general, check out the following sites:
By Andrew Brentan