Images: Children’s Pool Controversy

Is it for the seals or for the children? San Diego has been engaged in this bitter battle for years.

23 photos
Connie Bolger
The controversy over the Children's Pool has been whether it should be used by humans as well or roped off for just the seals.
The seals bathe in the sun at the Children's Pool in La Jolla.
Spencer Thornburg
The "seal cam" is positioned above the old lifeguard tower overlooking Children's Pool.
Alex Matthews
People can watch the seals from above or from behind the rope on the sand.
Beach-cleaners and divers spruced up the Children's Pool in La Jolla on Saturday.
NBC San Diego
A couple takes a picture of the waves crashing into Children's Pool.
Lindsey Schultz
A rope keeps onlookers away from the seals on the beach.
NBC 7 San Diego
The area along La Jolla's shore has been the center of controversy for years.
Getty Images
Is it for the seals or for the children? San Diego has been engaged in this bitter battle for years.
The pool, located along the coast of La Jolla, was originally designated for the children of San Diego but over the years it has become a home for harbor seals.
The area has been owned by the state since it was placed in a trust in 1931, provided it be used as a "bathing pool for children."
At times, more than 100 of the marine mammals are visible at the Children's Pool, which is polluted with their feces. Some longtime residents say the seals should be moved off the beach because it's for people.
Getty Images
In 1997 the city posted a warning that the cove shouldn't be used because of seal waste bacteria.
Alex Matthews
A slumbering harbor seal appears blissfully relaxed at Children's Pool Beach January 24, 2003 in La Jolla, California. Since taking over the beach, the area has been named Seal Rock Reserve and the seals are protected from spectators. With only one beach to haul out on, the concentration of seals has attracted large predators including a great white shark seen nearby in November 2002 killing and eating a sea lion. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Alex Matthews
Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann ruled that the seals must go in July 2009.
City officials said at that time that they'd spend up to $700,000 to scare them off with the recorded sounds of barking dogs.
Sam Hodgson
City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who argued the case himself, said he would ask the state appeals court to overturn any order that requires the city to "shoo" away the seals.
Getty Images
A state law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in July, gave San Diego the power to allow the seal colony to remain.
Mike Curran
In November 2009, Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor ruled the seal colony at Children's Pool in La Jolla to remain. He also vacated the 2005 order against the city to remove the seals and reconfigure the beach at Children's Pool.
Alex Matthews
The rope was installed Dec. 17, 2009 after years of courtroom battles.
Alex Matthews
Animal lovers have said the animals should be protected. A previous judge said the beach also belongs to swimmers and sunbathers.
Steven Luke
A group of people holding signs in favor of leaving seals alone and keeping rope up year round hold signs in front of museum where city council members considered a proposal to keep the rope barrier year round.
Long Beach Firefighters
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