Commission approves gates to stop sea lions from climbing stairs at La Jolla Cove

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Gates to prevent sea lions from causing disturbances with La Jolla Cove visitors are set to be installed.

The California Coastal Commission (CCC) approved the project that would installed two high gates measuring about 3-ft. high at La Jolla Cove's two staircases. The gates would also include related signage to help limit access to sea lions to pedestrian walkways.

"The City has reported that over the years it has not been uncommon for the sea lions to ascend the stairs to the public viewing deck to sleep or sunbathe," a CCC report stated.

RELATED: Sea lions climbing steps may lead to gates at La Jolla Cove

City officials said sea lions have been climbing the cove's two staircases at night and getting aggressive with people in the area. The animals have also been leaving a mess, defecating in the public walkway and creating a health hazard.

The project plans to have lifeguards keep the gates open during the day and close them at sunset when they finish their shift. 

The commission recommended the project's approval with some conditions:

  • The city should adhere to final construction plans,
  • The city should implement a signage plan,
  • The two gates shall be secured in a fully opened position during the daytime, only allowed to be closed (but remain unlocked), during the nighttime hours,
  • The city should monitor both the effectiveness of the gates and any impacts to public access, and
  • The city should establish a 5-year permit term to allow the Commission to reassess effectiveness and need of the gates.

No timetable was given for when the gates would be installed.

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