Photo by Erik Anderson
The city of San Diego will not move to close down the rocky coast along La Jolla to protect sea lions and their pups.
The Sierra Club asked the mayor on Tuesday to close off public access to the sea lion rookery.
In an emailed statement from the mayor’s office, city officials said they will soon add additional signage about sea lion protocols and the city will increase park ranger hours to help keep crowds from interfering with the marine mammals.
“I’m glad to hear that they think they can get the signage up that’s necessary in a very short period of time. That would be extremely good for us,” said Richard Miller of the local Sierra Club chapter.
Miller is unhappy the city is not willing to keep the rocky shoreline off-limits to people and he questions the city’s reasoning.
The crowds get too close to the sea lions and pups and that endangers the fledgling marine mammals.
Sea lion pups live on the rocky shore because they do not learn to swim until they are about four months old.
“I think to just dismiss our request out of thin air because they don’t believe that we have the authority, or NOAA or the Coastal Commission, they believe, has told them they don’t have any authority. I’m not convinced yet,” Miller said.
City officials said in their email statement that the issues have been the subject of debate and litigation for years.
The statement added, the mayor is willing to consider closing the area in the long term if regulators and stakeholders can reach a consensus.
The statement says the guidance from federal and state agencies is skeptical about full beach closures to protect marine mammals.
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