The Coastal Commission voted to approve a seasonal closure of Point La Jolla bluffs during California sea lion pupping season from May 25 to September 15, including installation of a K-rail barrier to create an ocean access path to Boomer Beach. In response to reports of harassment and conflicts between the public and California sea lions, the City of San Diego proposed to close the Point La Jolla bluffs area to public access during California sea lion pupping season. Several organizations including Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club supported the seasonal beach closure. The coastal access tradeoff is clearly justified given the need to adhere to marine mammal harassment regulations. Without a more clear, enforceable boundary maintaining distance between people and sea lions on Boomer Beach, the harassment will continue. This is within walking distance of NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where marine mammal protections are designed by grounded science. Commissioners unanimously approved the staff recommendation for a seasonal beach closure.
Why You Should Care
The benefit is providing safe marine mammal protections for one of SoCal’s last rookeries. There are great surfable, swimmable, and fishable beaches in the area within walking distance that are also open to the public. This tradeoff is worth it.
Negative Conservation Vote
Boomer Beach has a long history of bodyboarding and several recreational users spoke against the beach closure at the hearing. Even if there is more of a boundary created, much of the beach will be kept open and that the surf will be accessible - especially in the winter when there are more consistent surfable waves in this area.
Approval with Conditions