Mar/20/13 08:51 AM
A small number of residents of the affluent community want the seals removed from the beach so it can become a public swimming beach - they regularly harass the seals. Casa Beach is one of only four harbor seal rookeries left on the Southern California coast. There are many, many public beaches along the nearby coast for humans to enjoy, including one within walking distance of Casa Beach.
Recently, a web cam was established there to enable the public to view moms giving birth on the beach - harbor seal pupping season is in full swing in Southern California. The night vision camera recently caught two women beating and sitting on seals, many of them pregnant, and the incident has caused outrage. NOAA has not been yet been able to identify and prosecute the women.
Yesterday, the mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, ordered the beach closed to people at night. However, people are still allowed down on the beach during the day - and harbor seals are just a few feet away giving birth or nursing their young.
Seal Sitters has covered this story since our lead investigator visited the rookery in 2008. Read our complete coverage of this controversial situation on our website. And, please email Mayor Filner thanking him for closing the beach at night, but encouraging him to close Casa Beach (Children’s Pool) year-round to people and preserve this wildlife treasure. The public has an unparalled view from the sea wall and sidewalk above the haulout.
Our West Seattle seal pups are so very, very lucky to have a stranding network (with a supportive NOAA Northwest office) and public committed to keeping them safe while on our shores. We know that undisturbed rest is critical to harbor seals’ survival and they will be protected under our communal watch.