Rope Barrier approved for La Jolla Children’s Pool

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Image by Sander Van Zoest via FlickrSan Diego City Council members voted on Monday to approve a new management plan for the La Jolla Children’s Pool, which is home to a large seal colony. The new management plan includes a year-round rope barrier as well as a full-time park ranger to ensure that humans and dogs do not trespass onto the beach.

“The presence of a rope barrier would reduce the conflict because it provides a clear indicator to the public the appropriate distance from the seals to avoid harassing them,” said Councilwoman Donna Frye.

A rope barrier is already in place during pupping season, from Dec. 15 to May 15. The rope was taken down this past weekend, and the new measure would put it back up again, and this time to stay. The permanent barrier would prevent people from trying to get onto the beach to pet and feed the seals.

The new measure prohibits dogs from accessing the Children’s Pool, and supporters are already on the next step, proposing a new ordinance that would prohibit all access to the beach during pupping season. It is set to go before the City Council this summer.

The La Jolla Children’s Pool has long been a subject of debate, and its fate became the responsibility of San Diego City Council last year.  There has been tug-of-war over whether the beach should be used for its intended purpose as a safe children’s area or if it should remain a site to protect the marine mammals. Supporters argue that the pool needs to be protected because it provides a unique habitat and safe haven for the seals. The site has also become a local attraction in recent years. Those from the opposing end are urging the public to consider the pollution that the growing seal colony creates could attract sharks.

The decision was passed on Monday after 4 hours of debate from both sides. More than 400 people attended the meeting, which was specially held at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla.

Image by Sander van Zoest via Flickr.

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