Children's Pool closed during pupping season - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Children's Pool closed during pupping season

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – New rules are going into effect at the La Jolla Children's Pool.

Starting Monday, the beach area will be closed to the public for five months to allow the seals there extra protection during pupping season.

It's Erik Sgariglia and his family's first time visiting La Jolla Children's Pool. They're in town from Chicago, and just heard about the new rules preventing them from sitting on the beach with the seals

"I actually didn't know they were closed. After hearing about it I thought we should've come here yesterday," he said.

Signs are up alerting people that for the next five months the beach area will be closed to the public to protect the seal population during pupping season. That includes the area at the base of the coastal bluffs, the rocks, the breakwater and the lower staircase.

"I think it's a wonderful thing. The moms can go out to forage for food and the little seal pups, they use the whole entire beach, so it'll just help keep them safe and the environment safe," nearby resident Roxy Grant said.

The California Coastal Commission granted the city's request for the closure back in August. In return the city agreed to monitor the area, recording things like the number of seals present, weather conditions and any harassment of the animals.

Critics argue the pool was initially built for humans to use, and it shouldn't be closed for the seals.

"That wall was built 80 years ago, so times have changed. You still can enjoy many beaches in the surrounding area and we can also all get educated about wildlife, which is amazing," Grant said.

Anyone who breaks the rules could be fined up to $1,000.

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