San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has closed La Jolla's Children's Pool at nighttime, effective immediately.
A seal camera recently installed has captured video of people harassing the seals, said the mayor's office. This prompted Filner to close the beach at night with the emergency permit, which allows him to swiftly close the beach for 60 days until a coastal permit is signed.
“I felt it was important to take this step after evidence of individuals seen on video tape, harassing, taunting and causing stress to the seals at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla," he said in a prepared statement.
The battle between animal advocates and public beach access proponents has been going on for decades. Seal activists say the area should be protected, while others argue the beach is meant for public use. There is currently a 152-foot-long rope barrier at the beach to discourage people from entering the area, though people are legally allowed to go on the beach.
The beach will now be closed at night from now until May 15.