Target: Mary K. Shallenbeger, Chair of the California Coastal Commission
Goal: Keep vital birthing grounds safe for seals in California
What was once a full-access public beach in San Diego, California has become a popular birthing grounds for harbor seals in the area. Locals have repeatedly protested even the slight restrictions to public access that allow this area to remain one of the rare safe havens for pregnant seals and their pups. Keep this natural treasure from turning back into just another public beach, and urge the California Coastal Commission to maintain what limited protection the harbor seals are afforded.
Harbor seals in the area took to breeding in the small cove of Child’s Pool Beach during the 1990s, and now some 200 seals frequent the area. A few signs discouraging beachgoers from getting too close to the seals and a rope designating seal-safe areas during their pupping season from December to May are the only inhibitions to public access, but these installations have been the subject of heated debate for over a decade.
With wildlife advocates on one side and beach access proponents on another, police have been called in to keep the peace many times during this lasting disagreement. It is the opinion of San Diego’s governor and the city council that the beach should be a natural refuge, but stubborn locals continue to push for excommunication of the pregnant and pup-rearing seals occupying the area.
After much exhausting political debate and accumulated legal bills totaling over $1 million, an application to put up a permanent rope barrier is pending before the California Coastal Commission.
San Diego boasts over 70 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline. So much of this area is populated by sunbathing Californians that harbor seals are forced to rely largely on small, protected areas to rear their young. Help these seals maintain the modest foothold they so deserve. Sign this petition and Urge Mary K. Shallenberger to stand strong and keep Child’s Pool Beach protected year round.
Dear Mary K. Shallenberger,
Child’s Pool Beach near La Jolla, San Diego has long been the subject of heated debate. Endless hours and over $1 million in accumulated legal fees have been squandered in local beach-access advocates’ attempts to reclaim an area harbor seals are relying on to rear their young.
Boasting over 70 miles of Pacific Ocean Coastline, San Diego can easily afford to designate one small cove as a natural refuge. End the exhausting political debate, and afford San Diego’s wildlife at least a modest foothold in the increasingly urbanized city. I urge you and the California Coastal Commission to permanently protect the harbor seal birthing grounds at Child’s Pool Beach.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Albuquerque BioPark via Flickr