Southern California environment news and trends

Commission OKs year-round seal barrier on La Jolla beach

Seals Occupy La Jolla's Children's Pool Beach

David McNew/Getty Images

Spectators watch slumbering harbor seals from behind a rope barrier at Children's Pool Beach.

A contentious battle regarding a year-round rope to protect seals living at Children’s Pool beach in La Jolla came to a head this week, with the California Coastal Commission voting unanimously to approve the permanent barrier. As reported by the La Jolla Patch, the vote came after hours of often-emotional testimony from more than 60 speakers debating the pros and cons of such an enclosure. During testimony, videos were shown of people on both sides of the issue “interacting negatively towards each other.”

“What I think is going on here is not a problem with the seals and it’s not a problem with the rope. It’s a problem with people,” said Commissioner Dayna Bochco during the proceedings. “Nothing will work unless all of you are willing to work together. There are no humans here to be sympathetic with.”