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Best use for a San Diego beach? Nursing harbor seals or kids?

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, March 11th, 2008 at 7:37 am in Mother Nature, Seals.

The Associated Press reports that a federal appeals court issued an emergency order Monday allowing the city of San Diego to replace a rope barrier at a beach in La Jolla to protect nursing harbor seals. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the barrier can stay up until the breeding season ends in May while it considers whether it should stay permanently.

The picturesque cove has lately been a battleground between animal rights activists and residents who argue the rope barrier violates a 1931 deed requiring the city to preserve the beach for human use as a children’s pool.

According to A.P., two state court judges and two state appellate courts have ruled that the rope illegally interferes with the public’s access to the beach, known as the Children’s Pool.

San Diego has been under court order to evict the seals and dredge the sand to make it safe for children. Right! Evict the seals. That’s like telling deer they can’t eat grass in a meadow, so kids can play soccer there instead … or evict birds from the sky so there’s more room for kids to fly kites.

The San Diego-based Animal Protection and Rescue League has challenged those rulings in federal court. The group argues the rules of the state trust governing the cove are trumped by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

And as of Monday, it looks like the harbor seals have won this particular battle for the moment. I’m sure the war isn’t over. In fact it looks like it is only beginning.

Pro-seal activists sell seal T-shirts, stuffed animals and picture books on the sidewalk above the beach — and monitor crowds to make sure no one bothers the seals.

Earlier Monday a La Jolla resident was arraigned in federal court on charges of threatening one of the group’s volunteers with revenge from biker gangs after she videotaped people dressed in scuba gear apparently harassing the seals.

See what I mean?

Seems like this debate has gotten waaay out of hand, as these things always seem to do. So why not compromise (there’s that nasty word again!) and come up with a solution that works for the harbor seals and their pups AND the little human kids whose parents want them to come play at the beach whether they like it or not? Seems pretty simple to me.

Let the seals have the beach during breeding and pupping season … and the kids and their parents can play on the beach for the rest of the year. It’s usually too cold to go to the beach while the seals are raising their pups, anyway. So what’s the problem?

Things have gotten totally out of hand when we start suing Mother Nature to keep wild animals from living in their own natural environment. Think about it.

Besides, you know what they say: “It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature!”

One of these days Mother Nature’s going to lose her temper and do something really nasty, like create global warming, or something. /Gary

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No Responses to “Best use for a San Diego beach? Nursing harbor seals or kids?”

  1. Sara Says:

    Another seal washed up today just North at Torrey Pines State Beach beach with a bullet hole in its side–second time this year.

  2. Crystal Says:

    I just visited on July 24th, 2008. There were fewer seals than I have ever seen, but there was still a good number, thankfully. Activists were there, asking for petition signatures, and selling seal paraphernalia, as well as urging on-lookers to not approach the seals and keep a distance of at least 50 feet. It was nice to see the majority observing the seals from the sea walls above, and one could even overhear parents telling their children why they should not go down to the beach – to protect the seals! Honestly, there aren’t a lot of kids who would tell you that they want to go back to that beach to swim. It’s mainly selfish adults, who may or may not have children they could even bring to this area. There are thousands of miles of beautiful Southern CA beaches – why do we as humans feel we always have “the RIGHT” to so many things – including this small area that provides an interesting, educational, and natural attraction for tourists and natives year-round! SOS! Save Our Seals!

  3. Sandra Says:

    I would like to know if this issue has been resolved? I heard that they would be dredging the area soon which makes me think the seals lost. I agree with Crystal, we are taking up every inch of this world but what happens when we create such a huge inbalance. The last time I checked parents and their children were all over the beaches, one small section could surely be set aside for something else. We still benifit, the site is amazing and I could watch for hours.

  4. Kathie Says:

    Send them all to WA we shoot em all here! The seals I mean.
    I see no reason why animals and people can’t all live together. I see no reason why people can’t swim if they want, and the seals can do what they want.

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