Seal Camera Unveiled at Children’s Pool

People can see a 24/7 livestream of the seals in La Jolla

By Sarah Grieco
|  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 4:26 PM PDT
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Lifeguards Suggest Barrier at Children's Pool

Spencer Thornburg

The "seal cam" is positioned above the old lifeguard tower overlooking Children's Pool.

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There’s no need to drive to La Jolla to see the seals – now you can watch the seals at Children’s Pool from the comfort of your own home.

On Thursday, Mayor Bob Filner revealed the camera which will provide live views of the seaside harbor seal hangout, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. with Western Alliance for Nature Conservancy (WAN) funded the project and it's the first livestream camera devoted to seals on the West Coast.

The company EarthCam is providing the livestream for WAN.

“We have had success showing iconic and popular places,” said Lisa Kelly from EarthCam. “It’s a real educational experience.”

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The custom-made, high definition webcam will be monitored by local EarthCam employees and is fully hosted with special software to keep it running 24/7. The camera also has infrared capabilities, so people can watch at night.

“The cameras are always talking back to the server to make sure they’re always up,” said Kelly.

The surveillance camera was installed atop the condemned lifeguard tower last week. Some people are angry about the livestream and said the mayor bypassed the permit process.

“There are a lot of problems with this camera,” said Ken Hunriths, president of Friends of the Children’s Pool. Hunriths also said he’s concerned about the motivation behind WAN funding the camera.

WAN found the site for the webcam and also paid for it. The group states on its website that their mission is “to save threatened habitats to preserve biodiversity.”

“This whole thing is the vision of the mayor, so our government wanted to make that point. It’s his vision to share San Diego’s natural treasure to the rest of the world with the internet and we wanted to fill that vision by using this sophisticated webcam.” Larry Wan from WAN.

Filner said at an unveiling of the camera on Thursday that he wanted people across the globe to be able to see the seals.

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“It shows the respect and understanding of our ecological position in this world,” said Filner. “I don’t see it as a controversy. “

You can see the camera online at EarthCam or by visiting the mayor’s website.

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