Letter to Editor: City Measured Wrong in Erecting Rope at Children's Pool

Jane Reldan, MD, says rope at the Children's Pool in La Jolla was originally intended to create an effective buffer zone with a 3-foot opening.

Dear Editor, 

Indeed, the saga of the Children’s Pool rope continues as ‘Native San Diegan’ David Pierce chastises Mayor Filner for correcting the City’s own measurement error. Mr. Pierce conveniently fails to mention the fact that “the original intent of the permit [for the rope] was to create an effective buffer zone by utilizing the rope with a 3-foot opening.” The only reason the rope’s length was shortened to 130 feet last year was because the City’s staff used an improperly-calibrated measuring wheel when they originally measured out how long the rope should be. This resulted in the mistaken approval of coastal development and site development permits for a 130-foot rope barrier. And that resulted in an opening of 25 feet, a far cry from the intent of the May, 2010 City Council Resolution in support of the rope.

It was always the intent of the permit that the rope maintain a three-foot  access for entrance and exit into the water. Thus, contrary to what Mr. Pierce implies, the increased rope length is not a violation of the permit at all. Rather, it does the opposite, bringing the rope in to conformity with the original intent of the permit.  

Since the 152-foot rope was erected on December 21, 2012, there has been peace at Children’s Pool Beach, with both people and seals respecting the rope guideline without incident.

Only those who want to create a battleground at Children’s Pool Beach would oppose the 152-foot rope, offering “Tickets to cross the rope free” on signs posted on the sidewalk, as well as posting “Beach Open” signs on the seals’ side of the rope, which confuse the public and lead them to unwittingly violate the City’s and NOAA’s recommended 50-feet guideline distance from the seals. 

These “professional harassers,” as Mayor Filner so accurately characterized them, insist on luring unsuspecting visitors on to the sand, which scares the very pregnant seals who are too large to move at this time of year. These same harassers compose Facebook posts such as, “SEALBOMBS will be visiting the seals at 3 to 4 am every morning to disperse them off the beach.” These people are not interested in shared access, they are interested in chasing the seals from the beach and depriving everyone else of their right to enjoy the seals. The State has declared this area a Marine Reserve for a reason and we all need to respect that.

The best way for humans and seals to truly share the beach is with the current, fully-legal, 152-foot rope. It makes all the difference as far as allowing both seals and humans to enjoy the beach in peace. It is time for all of us to learn to live with nature instead of destroying it. I for one, wish to thank both the Mayor and the City Council for the 152-foot rope and urge them to continue to preserve the peace by keeping it up year-round!


Jane Reldan, MD

Also read David Pierce's Letter to the Editor: Children's Pool Rope Saga Continues

Ryan Sweeney January 09, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Kristen... What leads you to believe seals need protection? According to ALL scientific evidence their numbers are not only healthy, but in some cases/locations are more than the eco-system can sustain healthily. Just because you/people can't see other rookeries does not mean they don't exist... there is one in Pt. Loma that is just not located right next to a big viewing area like at the CP... out of sight, out of mind for your side huh. You're totally right, it is an amazing experience for humans to be able to watch wild mammals up close... and at the CP these wild animals have been domesticated and are beyond tolerant of human interaction. I am angry because we live in a city where the city officials feel it is OK to blatantly disregard their legal obligations to maintain this beach in a safe and healthy manner for its citizens. They blatantly disregard and look for every opportunity to ignore the fact that this beach was donated to the city and is protected by a trust that incredibly clearly states it is for the people. It is the ONLY beach of it's kind on the entire coast... so the argument of "people are selfish and can go elsewhere" is total BS... so can the seals. We're equal in this regard... shared use works. Except seals can go anywhere in the ocean/shoreline with much more ease since they are after all, sea fairing mammals :) I'm angry because "seal activists" continually harass the community and sue the city, wasting tax $$$ & contributing nothing in return.
Ryan Sweeney January 09, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Lets also not forget about the Marine preserves that were just implemented in January... one is just north of the CP, one is south of the CP, one is in Del Mar and one is in Pt. Loma... all of these are perfectly safe places for the precious seals... places where evil man can not interfere with them... although they're also places where you can't have a free zoo or sell t-shirts and lie to less knowledgeable tourists.
Bob Ewing January 10, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Jane the world is flat too. I have heard, from your mouth, lies to unsuspecting tourists that happen to go on the beach. Your cause, because you're a medical professional, should be to get Filner to clean this cesspool. Open the sluice ways. I bet if your residence was a little closer to the Children's Pool you would carrying a clip for a petition to clean it up and address the traffic conditions. What do with your money and who support for office is your choice but it is not right. You will not win on the side of the seals.
Bob Ewing January 10, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Linda, thanks for posting your business with your asinine logic. It will never see another dime from me and I am a local. You obviously never enter the water or you would be aware of the lack of points of entry that are safe for divers.
John Leek January 10, 2013 at 05:43 AM
All seals are federally protected so any beach or rock one chooses is a protected place. The City created this mess with a stated motive; to have a lucrative tourist attraction. It is perfectly reasonable for a conservationist to oppose this acclimation of animals to an urban setting to exploit them for profit. I swim in the pool with them and they swim into my hands and roll over for a tummy rub. It is fun but I know it is also stripping them of their natural protective instincts. But it brings the tourists and their money and the City does not have to maintain the beach for human recreation so it is a shrewd business decision. These are otherwise perfectly capable animals, able to swim away anytime they felt abused, so they must not be. We don't have to run them off because they are too stupid to realize the "danger" they are in, and we don't have to do that to people either. The only danger to the colony is the all or nothing drive by misguided animal lovers that people have to leave because an animal showed up and figured out nobody hurts it.


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