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Coastal Commission approves permit to protect seals during pupping season

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 22:32:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - One of La Jolla's most scenic spots is also the scene of a 20 year battle that has left the community divided.

The Coastal Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a measure to renew a 10-year permit to close the Children's Pool to human access during Harbor Seal Pupping season.

The Children's Pool was built in 1931 to give kids a safe place to enjoy the beach.

In the late 1990's, harbor seals moved in on the area creating conflict.

Surveillance cameras captured visitors getting dangerously close to the seals causing the city to take action.

In 2014, they decided to close the Children's Pool from December 15th through May 15th. This is typically the time period when mother seals use the beach to birth their calves.

The California Coastal Commission agreed to try out this plan for five years.

Dr. Jane Reldan, President of the Seal Conservancy, said the beach closure was an "elegant compromise." Reldan added that the closure happens during a time of year when it's cold and people don't want to go swimming anyways.

Opponents say there's plenty of coastline for the seals to use and that it's time the Children's pool was given back to the kids.