California Closes Beach for 7 Years to Protect Sea Lions

Point La Jolla was popular with humans taking selfies near the animals
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 2:37 PM CDT
California Sea Lions Get 7-Year Break From Humans
Sea lions near La Jolla Cove in San Diego, Calif.   (K.C. Alfred/U-T San Diego via AP)

The San Diego City Council has taken a big step to eliminate a nuisance at a local beach—humans. The city has declared it illegal for people to visit Point La Jolla for seven years, reports the Lo Jolla Light. The reason? The small rocky beach serves as a breeding and nursing ground for sea lions, and humans have been flocking there to take selfies with the animals, per the Los Angeles Times. Wildlife officials say it's distressing for the sea lions and potentially dangerous for the humans.

"What makes this such a special place is that this is the only sea lion rookery on the California mainland," says the Sierra Club in applauding the move, per SFGate. The public will still be able to observe the sea lions, but from a distance and from behind barriers. The closure, which also affects adjacent Boomer Beach, was originally put in place for six months of the year because of "harassment and problematic behavior between humans and the sea lion population," says a San Diego Parks and Recreation official. The new move extends the closure to year-round and leaves it in place for seven years. At that point, the city would have to apply for a permit to reopen the area to the public. (Read more sea lions stories.)

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