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U.S. beach access restricted to protect seals from being harassed by people

By Mason White 9:06 AM March 31, 2013
Sign warning people against entering the beach area 

By: Debbie Gross
(Scroll down for video) Beach access has been restricted to people in order to protect animals.

In the past, beach access was restricted to protect people from drowning in the water during bad weather. Now, one beach is closed to protect seals against people.

The mayor of San Diego, California, Bob Filner, has restricted access to a beach. The La Jolla Shores are now off limits to the public between sunset and sunrise.

La Jolla Shores is a sandy beach approximately one mile long. In the summer, waves at this beach are usually the most gentle of all San Diego beaches. La Jolla Shores lies adjacent to the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.

The emergency order came after a video was uploaded to YouTube showing two women harassing seals during the night hours.

The beach has more than 200 seals who regularly come to the area for shelter and as a breeding colony in the breeding season.

This particular beach has long been in dispute between wildlife advocates and beach goers. Wildlife advocates claim that the seals are a tourist attraction and a local asset that must be protected. While others argue that the city beach belongs to humans.

“It does not seem to be fair to punish the public for the action of two irresponsible girls,”Jackalyn Rosowsky, 28, a San Diego, California resident told

The beach is referred to as the Children’s Pool. It was originally designated as a safe place for children since the water generally remains calm, making it a safer place for kids.

When seals are present, authorities block off a large area so that people don’t get too close to the seals.

But after the video showed the girls “causing stress” to the seals by squatting on them while posing for pictures, and intentionally chasing the seals the mayor decided to protect the animals and closed the beach to humans at night.
In the video below you can see the girls harassing the seals.

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