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Stretch of Point La Jolla closed until September to keep public away from sea lions

Sea Lion Released
Posted at 10:27 AM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 13:28:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — An emergency closure of a stretch of La Jolla's coast will go into effect Wednesday in order to prevent visitors from getting too close to sea lions amid pupping season.

The temporary closure is bordered by the beach access stairs to the north, the concrete wall along the boardwalk to the east, and a plastic barrier to the south that is about 25 feet from the end of the metal railing along Boomer Beach.

The closure will last through Sept. 15. (An approximate representation of the closure can be seen below)

point la jolla sea lion closure.jpg

"The closure is intended to protect both the public and sea lions during pupping season, a sensitive period of time when sea lions are born and learn to swim. Sea lions, especially mothers who are nursing and feeding their young, can become aggressive and cause bodily injury when they feel threatened as a result of visitors that get too close," a city spokesperson said.

City officials said they've received numerous reports recently of beach visitors ignoring signage to give the animals their space.

"We have called for responsible tourism, met with stakeholders, installed new signage, and yet crowds continue to seek up-close encounters with the sea lions. The spectacle of the past few months does not reflect who we are as a city and has distracted the public from enjoyment of San Diego's world-class natural resources," said Councilmember Joe LaCava, who represents Council District 1, earlier this month. "The temporary closure, as called for by the California Coastal Commission, will curtail access to Point La Jolla while preserving the unique viewing of sea lions. Further, it provides the City additional time to continue conversations with stakeholders on effective methods to manage our coastline for all to safely enjoy."

The city is also set to start a public process to establish a long-term solution for a potential seasonal closure of Point La Jolla during pupping season.