January 9, 2013

The Children's Pool

The Children’s Pool from above.

Ellen Browning Scripps gave the city a protected area in La Jolla where children and their moms could swim safely.  This Children’s Pool is now a great source of controversy.  Seals have moved in; for it is safe for seals too.  Children can no longer use this area to swim.  Now during pupping season, no one can go in to disturb the seals.

There’s one faction that wants the beach back so the kids can use it.  There’s another faction that wants the seals to stay in their new home.  While all this moves through the courts, The sea wall and lifeguard tower are rapidly biodegrading in the salt air. 

These Japanese tourists must think the seals are their furry friends not wild animals.

We visited the other day, and I missed the gentle beauty of the place on this summer-like like day.  During winter storms, waves breaking over the sea wall offer dramatic photo ops.  Today, the lifeguard tower is unsafe as are the bathrooms below.  The walkway walls are split, and the sea wall steps that once were flat are now rounded.  Worst of all, the temporary tower is of tall metal piping, and port-a-potties mix with fencing to block the view. 

Instead of beautiful ocean vistas, this is the view now of the Children’s Pool.  Temporary housing for lifeguards and tourists alike.

Obviously the city is making no major repairs or decisions on anything until the matter of the seals is decided in the courts.  Tourists love this circus.  I found the whole crumbling superstructure, mess of temporary structures, and seal smell truly disturbing.  The stench of seal excrement is driving the locals up a wall, and the visual beauty of the Children’s Pool is gone blocked by these fences and temporary structures.

Corroded fence leading down to a washed away emergency ramp.

Save the seals or save the beach for the children.  What would you do?

The crumbling slab underneath the old lifeguard tower.

  • Keeping those on the east coast in my thoughts.
  • Himself:  Gym twice this week.  Still shakey.
  • Herself:  Little cough when I sit.  Lots when I move about.
  • Reading:  I confess that I read a James Patterson yesterday.
  • Balance:  Afternoon reading in my living room.  I so enjoy it.


    1. It is all about compromise. The seals have taken over La Jolla and ruined the visit for me. I am a big animal person, but everything needs to be managed. I would remove the seals and get funding to repair the area and open it once again to children.

    2. Give it back to the kids. I love watching seals but I like kids better.

    3. It seems that the seals have taken over because the place was available. I would rather see a place where children can swim safely.

      There must be some other cove that could be safe for seals, without stinking up the atmosphere where people are.

    4. I expect the cost to remove the seals and the stench and the excrement and fix the tower and the steps and the restrooms would outweigh what the animal lover groups want....What a shame it was allowed to get to this state.

    5. I don't think there is any "removing" of the seals possible. Last I heard, they don't follow our rules of engagement. They have claimed it. I doubt if they would agree to the compromise.

    6. The seals that has taken residents at the pool were seeded their by Sea World in the mid 90's by there rehabilitation program to create a Seal Rock Reserve that backfired.
      The children need lifeguards not the seals, that is why the wall was built and the lifeguard station 24/7
      all other beaches have dangerous rip currents and few lifeguards.
      The special interest groups that have destroyed this wonderful gift by lying to the government, city officials and even the legislature that these poor seal can not survive without this tiny beach and that they will all die...
      The city should stop pandering to these crazy and criminal seal activist that go around spitting, throwing rock, steeling property and stun gunning people for using the beach that was deeded to them and their children.

    7. Gosh... I don't know. I'm a nature lover and haven't ever smelled seal poop so I'm not a good person to ask. Still... I love children and want them to have a safe place to play in the water too.

    8. Tough choice but I have been rooting for the seals I fear. No way to move them out anyway. Hell, I can even move mice and you know how small they are.


    9. You fell into the trap of polarization and lead others there too. There is no group or action to remove seals. There is only sharing or booting the people out even though the seals get along with us just fine. The City adopted a Joint Use policy in 2004 and started undoing directly afterward. Nobody has ever gotten sick from swimming with seals, nobody has injured a seal, nobody has been savaged by a seal. We can all get along if people will stop demanding all or nothing.


    What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


    Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...