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