La Jolla Friends of the Seals...Preserving a Unique Natural Treasure
February 26, 2014
We want to thank the following Councilmembers who supported the Seals and their Pups:
We specifically want to thank Councilmember Marti Emerald for making the motion in support of the Seals, and for being their strongest supporter, and for providing steadfast leadership at the City Council meeting during the Councilmember debate over Pupping Season Closure of the beach.
We also want to thank Councilmember Myrtle Cole for immediately seconding the motion and City staff for all of their hard work on this issue over the past four years.
However, the job is not done yet!
Seal Pupping Season Closure of Casa Beach still has to be approved by the California Coastal Commission this year prior to beach closure on December 15, 2014. Our focus now turns to this next step. We will keep you informed as we move forward and thank you for your continuing support!!
THANK YOU all for your continued support!
Sincerely, Ellen Shively, President; Dr. Jane Reldan, Treasurer; Adrian Kwiatkowski, Executive Director
January 24, 2014
The San Diego City Council once again heard the issue of beach closure during the pupping season, and once again passed the proposal. The same issue was heard in 2010 and passed, but never enacted by Mayor Sanders who cited a lack of funds to implement the policy.
You can view the actual meeting HERE Feb 24th - fast-forward to 5:18
The chamber was filled to almost capacity, with the seal advocates greatly outnumbering the opponents. Testimony started with the opponents digging deep to justify their desire to have unrestricted use of the beach, even to allow disruption of the nursing and newborn pups. They tied to skewer the California Coastal Act and minimized the 2009 amendment passed by the California legislature authorizing the beach as a marine mammal park for the education and enjoyment of children.
Speakers in favor of the closure spoke from the heart and reason. Explicit videos supplied by Dr. Jane Reldan showed numerous acts of both willful and uneducated seal abuse: from the two women captured at night stepping on pregnant seals flippers and throwing sand at them, people standing too close or even lying by pregnant seals, and a flushing at night by two men with flashlights. Andrea Hahn showed John Leek doing a "cannonball" dive causing a massive flush on the Sunday before the hearing! (How dumb can you be).
Roxy's video showed a flailing newborn struggling to get out of the water soon after it's first swim. Deb Saracini explained the sequence of the need for the beach for birthing, nursing, and learning survival skills. Carol spoke of the 17 rookeries in California, only two did not close the beach during pupping time- San Diego being one of the two. Joe Cordaro, the retired NMFS biologist, gave a scientific summary of the physiology needs of the newborns and mothers and urged a vote in favor of the measure. Adrian reviewed the misinformation circulating about the need for the pool for ADA access, the domino theory that passage of this would lead to a take over all beaches and that the lifeguard proposal to place barriers between people and seals would satisfy shared use. Other speakers were powerful and spoke of personal experience and advised the council to do the right, moral thing.
For a full viewing, you can go to the City Council meeting website and view the entire hearing. My personal impression is that the opponents have a self-centered "want" for their ocean recreational pleasure, while we took a caring, compassionate perspective on the "needs" of the seals during this critical time. Finally - we have a good definition for shared use!!!
At any rate, Marti Emerald made the motion and wisely rejected extraneous proposals by Ms. Lightner whose amendments would have distorted and disrupted the original motion (authored by the California Coastal Commission). Our heartfelt thanks go to her and Ms Myrtle Cole for seconding the motion. Council members voting against were Ms. Lightner, Mr Kersey and Mr. Sherman.
Much of the success of the campaign goes to the untiring efforts of Dr. Jane Reldan and Adrian K. for their organizing efforts, and to all of our own members and friends who attended, spoke and brought others.
As we were exiting, the reporter for the LJ Light, freelancer Pat Sherman, cautioned, "Yes, I have the story, but it's not over yet". Stay tuned......
THANK YOU to all that have supported the seals!
January 26, 2014
Please send a letter or an email supporting winter seasonal closure of Casa Beach during the harbor seal pupping season, December 15 to May 15 annually.
The La Jolla Seals need your help! On Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm, the San Diego City Council will finally be voting on the May 17, 2010 Resolution to prohibit public access to Casa Beach during the harbor seal pupping season, from December 15 to May 15 annually. These are the months when the Seals are giving birth and nursing their newborn pups, and therefore are the most vulnerable to disturbances and need the most protection from harassment. We need everyone who supports protection for the La Jolla Seals to come to this City Council meeting in person!
SAVE THE DATE: Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2pm
If the Seals lose this vote, the pregnant seals and their pups will continue to be harassed. We need to show the City Council that San Diego supports protection for our seals. That is why our goal is to get at least 200 people to support the Seals by showing up in person at the City Council Meeting on February 24 at 1:00 PM. Please attend!
December 12, 2013
Seal pupping season closure now heads to the San Diego City Council for a final decision in early 2014.
October 31, 2013
Thank you for supporting the Seals by sending letters and attending the San Diego City Council meeting on October 29th. Your on-going support is critical to protect the Seals.
As you might know, Seal pupping season beach closure was postponed and will be heard sometime in early 2014. The reason for the postponement is to bring the City and the California Coastal Commission into alignment on the strategy that accomplishes that goal.... which both agencies support.
While this delay is unfortunate, we are not discouraged. In fact, we feel encouraged that once the strategy is finalized beach closure during Seal pupping season will be approved by the City and the California Coastal Commission.
The La Jolla Friends of the Seals is now turning its focus to working in collaboration with the City and the California Coastal Commission to achieve Seal pupping season beach closure and we will keep you informed as we progress.
On behalf of the Seals, we thank you for your support.
October 22, 2013
The La Jolla Seals need your help! Exactly 1 week from today, on Tuesday, October 29 at 2:00 pm, the San Diego City Council will be voting on the proposal to annually prohibit public access to Casa Beach during the harbor seal pupping season from December 15 to May 15. This is the time of year when the Seals are most vulnerable to disturbances and need the most protection from harassment.
SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 2pm
If the Seals lose this vote, the same harassment of the pregnant seals and their pups will continue. We need at least 100 people to support the Seals in person at the City Council. Please let us know if you can attend, and if you are interested in speaking, by email to email@example.com
October 12, 2013
December 15th through May 15th each year, is the birthing season for the La Jolla Seals. It is at this time that the colony is most vulnerable to disturbance and needs protection. The City of San Diego is seeking to implement the City Council Resolution of May 17, 2010, to prohibit beach access for 5 out of the 12 months of the year at Casa Beach (also known as Children's Pool) in La Jolla. The City’s final step is the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, 10/29/2013 at 2 pm, time certain. PLEASE ATTEND!
The harbor seal colony at Casa Beach (AKA Children's Pool) in La Jolla is under harassment from a group of people who make it their business to frighten the seals away from the beach nearly every weekend. The seals need to haul out and rest - it is vital to their physiology and their health. As the pupping season approaches, seal supporters want to insure that the beach will be closed to the public during the months when the seals are giving birth and nursing their pups. Even a brief separation between mother and pup during the first 48 hours after birth can have devastating effects, including abandonment and death of young pups.
La Jolla Friends of the Seals has prepared an organized presentation for the meeting of the City Council on Tuesday, 10/29/2013 at 2pm, time certain in the City Council Chambers, City Administration Building, 202 “C” Street. It is vital to have over 100 people present showing support for the seals as possible, since we know our opponents will definitely show up en masse for this crucial meeting. They are lobbying very hard attempting to delay the meeting beyond the start of pupping season 12/15. Fortunately, the City has stood firm.
Please confirm your planned attendance to Dr. Jane Reldan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for caring enough to attend in person so that the pregnant seals will be able to birth their pups in peace this winter!
October 4, 2013
The Seals are facing a critical vote at the San Diego City Council on October 29th at 2:00pm for permanent winter closure of the beach during pupping season. (December 15th through May 15th).
La Jolla Friends of the Seals prides itself on the fact that we are an all-volunteer organization. Our docents, our Board Members, and our attorney volunteer their time and services for the Seals. Historically, all administrative costs have been covered by the generosity of our Board Members.
However, as you know, "Save Our Seals" campaign is expensive. The "Intentional Seal Harassers" continue to file frivolous lawsuits, and they relentlessly promulgate their half-truths and myths that confound members of the public, the media, and our elected officials.
For example, the issue of ADA / Handicapped Access to Casa Beach was raised and became a huge issue at the Planning Commission during the debate over pupping season closure. This cost the Seals two commission votes resulting in the 4-2 outcome.
The Seals' enemies have a hugely successful on-going financial campaign which they use to fund their efforts against the Seals. Their fundraising goal is $100,000.
In order to effectively combat their misinformation and hysteria, we have hired professionals in government and public relations. We needed to do this to protect the Seals and win at the Planning Commission, and we need them even more to prevail at City Council.
If we don't rise to their defense, the Seals will lose.
Please make a Tax-deductible donation
THANKS so much for caring!
You can also make a donation the old-fashioned way by mailing a check. In this case, please make your check payable to LA JOLLA FRIENDS OF THE SEALS and send it to this address:
La Jolla Friends of the Seals
No sum is too small or too large -- every donation counts. La Jolla Friends of the Seals is an official IRS-approved 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, so all donations are tax deductible.
Thank you for your support!
View a Seal Pup Birth HERE!
September 12, 2013
The SD Planning Commission approved the beach closure during pupping season. It wasn't an easy win, since they are all about beach access rights, but despite their reservations, we won approval of 4 of the 6 commissioners. Thank you to everyone who came to speak or cede their time in support! Next, we go to the City Council and then Coastal Commission, which should be much easier to win approval, as we already have their support.
Let's all stay positive and inspired. We have a come a long way and the end goal is in sight! :-)
August 26, 2013
August 2 , 2013
July 30, 2013
June 14, 2013
moving from under the rope to the water's edge - under what circumstances I wondered. In the air was a sense of expectation by the people craning from the sidewalk and seawall hoping for a chance to see happy, frolicking seals in the pool or borrowing the beach space for a long mid afternoon nap.
I walked to the seawall, always an experience to be enjoyed - a way to get almost "into" the water.
I most enjoyed talking to visitors about the seals, the tides, comparing seals to sea lions and sharing their pleasures.
Some things have changed at Casa Beach, and some have not. The efforts to preserve the seal's home continue on. It still is one of, if not the most, beautiful places in the world.....perfect for a rookery and outdoor education experience.
May 23, 2013
The place itself wasn't very crowded today, but all the many people I talked to were very nice. I so enjoy just chatting with the visitors!
Drama did hit about 3:00 when a diver with a scuba tank caused a flush. I had talked to him as he went down the stairs, but he went on down anyway. Right away a lifeguard came rushing over to me and asked if I had warned him. I said I had. The lifeguard excused himself, ran back to the tower, grabbed his flippers and rope and headed, quickly down to the beach. He signaled to the diver to return to shore (more seals flushed with this commotion). The supervising lifeguard then appeared and there was a bit of a fuss amongst them all, then the lifeguards took the diver up to their tower. Lifeguards were not happy with the diver. About 20 minutes later the diver (with an adjusted attitude) reappeared and left the area. Yeah for the lifeguards for doing a good job!
There was no ranger there today. A healthy sea lion visited the beach. I have some pictures. I was so happy to be back at the beach today!
May 15, 2013
Up until the last minute, we weren’t sure if the recommendation by the California Coastal Commission last July to give the rope at Casa Beach a three year trial would come into effect, but the final green light was given last week - and the rope stays up at the beach year round.
This is great news for pro seal advocates who have watched the effect of the rope during pupping season improve the safety net for the new seal mothers and young pups. Other than the two young women caught abusing a new mother and pup which caught world wide attention, most visitors have cooperated by staying behind the rope line to enjoy recreational "seal watching". Closing the beach from dusk to dawn also helped to allow a successful breeding season.
According to Jerry Horna, our past LJFS president, "Post pupping season the beach is VERY important to the recuperating mothers that have been on basically a starvation diet while they nurse, and the pups that are on their own (for the first time) Their survival depends on being able to eat and get out of the water so they can store calories as blubber. The restring period on the beach in Summer is very important to the mothers and weaned pups especially."
The retention of the rope was accompanied by a few caveats, particularly the requirement for monitoring the effects by taking periodic seal counts at least for 16 days out of each month for the three years. The count responsibility is under the guidance of the lifeguards, the ranger or their designated help.
We are continuing to help with monitoring of the earth camera which is beamed on the entire beach for 24 hours per day every day. If you live locally and are willing to volunteer for camera duty, please contact us: Info@lajollafriendsoftheseals.org.
The city is also gearing up the city sponsored docent program at Casa Beach. It will be designed to inform visitors of the unique nature of Casa Beach and the entire ecosystem. Opportunities to volunteer for this program will be announced by the city soon.
April 25 , 2013
Filner vows to ‘go further to protect’ harbor seals at Children’s Pool
Hundreds gathered at the Mangelsen Gallery in La Jolla on April 25 to help the Western Alliance for Nature (WAN) Conservancy — the organization that paid for the webcam installed at Children’s Pool beach — raise funds for the camera operation and salute Mayor Bob Filner for his efforts to protect the harbor seals.
Sara Wan of the WAN Conservancy opened the benefit by thanking people involved in maintaining the camera, and then introduced former County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, who presented an award to the mayor. In Filner’s acceptance speech, he explained his process for getting Children’s Pool to the “protected” level it is today. He also addressed seal harassment since the city closed the beach at night. READ MORE...
April 21, 2013
April 19, 2013
A judge Thursday turned down a request to shorten the rope barrier meant to protect the marine mammals from being harassed by the public. READ MORE
April 14, 2013
This decision ensures that the 152 foot rope will remain in place until July of 2015. At that time the California Coastal Commission will review the conditions placed on the City, including monitoring. We started monitoring 8/31/12 and continue to enter data that has been sent to both NOAA and the California Coastal Commission. In 2015, if the California Coastal Commission deems that all their conditions have been met, they hopefully will approve the 152 foot year-round rope in perpetuity.
March 30, 2013
It was so sad... So selfish... ARE there not enough beaches in San Diego that everybody has to come to this little one where those wonderful animals rest??! I wanted to make a big poster and put it on the sand because I did not know what to do. We talked to many people. We also talked to the police and ranger but It was not enough.
I told the Ranger that some man was splashing the seals and at least the police got closer and the guy stopped. The forms have been filled out.
On the other side of the beach there were around 60 people (the one with no rope). We stayed for a long time trying to protect a zone so the seals could come out and rest but it was so difficult. There are too many people coming all the time and the seals were not brave enough to come on to the beach although they to wanted because they were swimming around looking the sand all the time.
YOU CAN HELP protect the seals! As always, we are looking for new Docents. We provide excellent training and have been active in educating the public and protecting the seals.
March 26, 2013
Please take 5 seconds to call 619-293-2506 and hit 1 for YES to log your support for the mayor's action on this issue!
The small but vocal group wishing to get rid of the seals has filed a lawsuit challenging this action, and there will be a preliminary injunction hearing open to the public at 1:30pm on Friday, April 12 in Dept. 66 of the San Diego Superior Court, 330 W. Broadway, before Judge Joel Pressman. Please attend if you are able.
February 21, 2013
February 2, 2013
Mayor Filner has been very supportive of the seal cam and we would appreciate it if you would write to him and thank him at email@example.com Ask him for more enforcement of the 50 foot separation between people and seals. Let him know that the 152 foot rope works if it is supported. Remind him that this is pupping season, and in past years the first births took place at the end of January. If the seals are kept off the beach by people sitting at the waterline, the seals will not haul out and have no place to deliver their pups.
Unfortunately the professional harassers and their provocateur friends continue to do everything they can to force the seals off the beach, which is why there are so few seals present. Thank you!
January 8, 2013
The "professional harassers" who want to rid the beach of the seals are a very vocal minority, actively bombarding the Mayor and the press with their propaganda right now!
The opposition does not hide their intentions, as you can see in this Facebook post from 10/25/2012:
We need seal supporters like you to counter their venomous propaganda with statements that tell the truth about seals.
Please click HERE to view the comments that follow these recent news stories and editorials and more ways you can help.
December 15, 2012
The Casa Beach (or Children's Pool) is a rich, natural setting with harbor seals on the beach, gray whales and bottlenose dolphins offshore, brown pelicans on the rocks, cliff swallows darting about, ground squirrels on the bluffs, a wealth of invertebrate life in the tidepools and even an occasional sea lion or elephant seal making an appearance on the beach. This all makes for an abundant experience of coastal wildlife, right on our doorstep - and it's free! Casa Beach is located at the corner of Coast Blvd. and Jenner Street; here's a MAP and directions.
La Jolla Friends of the Seals (LJFS) is a non-profit all-volunteer organization that was established in 1999 to offer protection to the La Jolla Harbor Seal Colony and education to the public through its Naturalist-Docent Program, 'Friends of the Seals'. Docents volunteer their time to educate visitors about the harbor seals and other natural treasures in the area. Look for their turquoise shirts and jackets at Casa Beach!
LJFS is a non-profit organization funded by small grants from philanthropic organizations and donations from the local community and the general public. It was awarded the Environmental Hero Award 2000 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for its efforts in protecting the seals and educating the public about them.
Thanks LocalWally for your support and explaining the Seal issues in a unique way.
May 21, 2011
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December 15, 2010
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