Activists Protest to Defend Threatened La Jolla Seals, Saturday 5/7/2011

CONSERVATION ACTIVISTS TO HOLD MAJOR RALLY SATURDAY IN DEFENSE OF THREATENED LA JOLA SEALS

La Jolla, CA – As many as a hundred conservationists and animal rights activists are expected to stage a protest march at 10am this Saturday, May 7th demanding adaquate protections for a seal colony in La Jolla’s Casa Cove.  Their march through downtown La Jolla will begin at the corner of Girard Ave. & Prospect St. in La Jolla (map) and end with a rally above the beach at Casa Cove.

 

Casa Cove, also known as “baby beach” by locals has served as a rookery for harbor seals since the construction of an artificial sea wall by the Scripps family in the 1930s.  ”Despite federally mandated protections for these seals, periods of shared use of the beaches at Casa Cove have led to situations where seals were harassed or chased away by people.” says Dorota Valli of the Animal Protection and Rescue League (APRL) of San Diego’s SealWatch.  ”Due to development and human intrusions on the coast the nearest established rookeries for harbor seals are roughly 100 miles to the north and south of Casa Cove thus limiting the harbor seal’s ability to breed, nurse, and raise their young.” says Carly Slawson a volunteer with APRL’s SealWatch.

 

“Must we humans be so selfish that we would deny the seals a small spot on the coast they can call their own. Those who want the seals removed so children can have the beach have certainly not asked the children what they want. Most children would prefer to see seals living happy on a beach than to see them removed. The people who are victimizing these seals are both anti-nature and anti-children. They have their own agenda of greed and prejudice,” say’s Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and star of the hit TV series Whale Wars (Discovery)

 

The activists are an umbrella group of organizations including the Animal Protection and Rescue League of San Diego, Seal Watch San Diego, La Jolla Friends of the Seals, and Orange County People for Animals, who collectively are fighting to establish further protection and an eventual sanctuary for the La Jolla seals.  The activists have implemented a two-tiered approach of non-violent direct action protests like the one they have planed for Saturday as well as a plan of civil action in the La Jolla courts.  The activists have recently petitioned the courts for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in hopes the rope barring access to Casa Cove will not be lifted and that the Baby Beach rookery will not be opened to beach goers.  The case is being revisited in La Jolla court on May 17th, 2011.  For details about this weekends march as well as additional information on the La Jolla seals visit http://SaveSanDiegoSeals.com

 

To arrange an interview with the activists or to obtain high-resolution images of the rookery at Casa Cove please contact Tim Rusmisel at 949.973.7325 or email press@sparrowmedia.net

 

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Comments

5 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Will,

    Very interesting….I take issue with this article and several outright lies that appear in it. I’ll quote this block of text and then tell you why it is false. Outright false. You can keep your opinions, I’m fine with that, but I feel compelled to set the record straight so that nobody is acting on false information.

    “Casa Cove, also known as “baby beach” by locals has served as a rookery for harbor seals since the construction of an artificial sea wall by the Scripps family in the 1930s. ”

    —The sea wall was formed as to create a “Children’s Pool” (not “baby beach”) and up until this day still serves that purpose. It has a long history of being a beach enjoyed by humans, a beach that DID NOT EXIST until the creation of the sea wall. There *may* have been a rookery at this location on offshore rocks before the seawall was built, but after the construction of the sea wall, such a rookery DID NOT EXIST at this site despite what your article claims. It is only until the mid 1990s that harbor seals were actually observed giving birth on this beach. LATER, when it was established it was regularly used for pupping, was it given the title of “rookery” by NMFS in the early 2000′s.

    “Due to development and human intrusions on the coast the nearest established rookeries for harbor seals are roughly 100 miles to the north and south of Casa Cove thus limiting the harbor seal’s ability to breed, nurse, and raise their young.” says Carly Slawson a volunteer with APRL’s SealWatch.”

    Then of course, we can count on SealWatch and their volunteers to say such ridiculous things as Carly has. I don’t think these people get out of the house much!? Perhaps just 5-10% of our coast is developed with “human intrusions”. But wait a minute…. isn’t the sea wall that provides the sheltered beach for the seals at Children’s Pool a “human intrusion and development”? You guys can’t have it both ways, but it fits in well with your anti- human narrative. That’s right, the current rookery at Children’s Pool WOULD NOT EXIST without the “human intrusion and development” to our coast. Irony, is it not?

    Furthermore, sealwatch volunteer Carly says nearest rookeries (implying that is the only habitat available) are “roughly 100 miles to the north and south…”.

    If they were inquisitive, or not motivated by securing monetary donations, SealWatch might make itself aware of another rookery just 10 miles south of “Casa cove” that hosts dozens of seals and quite a few pups, thus making it a rookery: http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/225842_10150226941681023_712101022_9128651_3358393_n.jpg

    And all this talk of “lack of habitat” makes ME inquisitive. So I logged on to this website: http://www.californiacoastline.org/ which documents hundreds of miles of California coastline through aerial photos. And I found TONS of harbor seal habitat. In fact, I found a seal haulout that NOAA even missed in their aerial counts. Wow, I guess anyone can be a marine mammal biologist!

    http://www.large.images.californiacoastline.org/images/2006/large/2/200603152.JPG Look at those glistening beauties hauled out on the rock on the bottom center of the page!

    Moderator, if you are going to not approve or delete this comment, you are voting against truth. Again, I will respect your opinions, but please don’t tolerate falsehoods being disseminated to the public through your website. Let people free their minds and make their own decisions based upon the facts.

  2. Author admin,

    When we write press releases we base them off the quotes & facts we are given by the locals. If we quote or derive fact from statements given to us, then they are not “lies.” We don’t believe in silencing peoples voices, so we approved your comment, however we stand by the fact that overpopulation and intrusion has infringed upon the breeding habits of not only seals but also coastal birds and myriad other species. We are deeply impacting coastal ecosystems and it is about time we begin to acknowledge non-human communities right to exist and flourish in peace.

    thanks

    • Will,

      Alright, I understand Mr. Admin. Thanks for taking the high road and accepting my comment. I understand your point of view but harbor seals are not in need of coddling, their populations, habitat, and life cycles are just fine. Let’s get pollution under control before we start closing beaches to humans. Nobody is harpooning seals, but EVERYBODY contributes to the harmful effects of pollution. I believe humans and seals can co-exist, human presence is not the problem with coastal ecosystems, it is the byproduct of human presence that can be harmful.

  3. Tim Rusmisel,

    Will,
    I have to say that by taking issue with this press release you are taking up the side of defending a few people’s “right” to intimidate and harass pregnant females and infants for the sake of drinking beer and play frisbee. Congratulations on fighting a noble battle.

    It is interesting that in our release we claimed that the seals are being harassed and not a single person on your side of the issue has been at odds with that statement. Instead you want to bicker about what we called the beach.

    Built in 1931, the seawall replaced the natural coastline in this part of La Jolla which was known as Seal Rock. This seawall and other piers, jetties, and seawalls to the north and south greatly effect the natural shifting of coastal sand. Due to this naturally occurring pocket beaches are diminished in numbers and the beaches suitable for marine wildlife (that aren’t overwhelmed with humans) are also greatly diminished.

    Your photo is lovely but what you failed to point out is that at a higher tide or in a period of larger ocean swell this rare pocket beach would not be an option for the seals pictured. The, albeit, unnaturally occurring beach at the seawall in La Jolla is a safe suitable option for the seals under all ocean conditions. This is why it so important.

    Your other link is a dead link so I can’t comment on what you are referring to. I would like to ask you to look for photos of the other dozens of beaches upon which seals cannot give birth, nurse young, or simply lay in the sun but humans could easily drink beer and play frisbee on in the La Jolla area.

    See you in La Jolla.

    • Will,

      Oh Tim…. must you be so dramatic?

      “This seawall and other piers, jetties, and seawalls to the north and south greatly effect the natural shifting of coastal sand. Due to this naturally occurring pocket beaches are diminished in numbers and the beaches suitable for marine wildlife (that aren’t overwhelmed with humans) are also greatly diminished.”

      This is not true because of the inclusion the adjective “greatly”. There are just a few jetties and seawalls in San Diego; yes they have the potential to impact the disposition of sand BUT HARBOR SEALS DO NOT REQUIRE sandy beaches. They really don’t. There is no crisis of habitat here.

      Here is the website that was the dead link previously: http://www.californiacoastline.org/

      You can see for yourself TONS of habitat for harbor seals. Let’s try that specific link again: http://www.californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi?image=200603152&mode=big&lastmode=timecompare&flags=0&year=2006

      (its on the border of laguna/newport beach)

      And then you also say, “Your photo is lovely but what you failed to point out is that at a higher tide or in a period of larger ocean swell this rare pocket beach would not be an option for the seals pictured”

      Well, I’m not too sure this is the case. I have never seen this location in those conditions you described. I doubt you have as well. Where do you suppose those seals go when such an event happens? Do they drown? I think you are not giving the seals enough credit for their resilience. They are marine mammals. They can endure long periods in the or on “uncomfortable” rocks.

      Tim, it boils down to this: You are an animal rights activist. You place a higher value on an animal’s emotional state/well being than does the average person or the people who use Children’s Pool. You are on the fringe. Your position is unreasonable. There are also bigger fish to fry. Why don’t you fight for the survival of truly endangered species instead of harassing people who use a beach to the annoyance of a few harbor seals?

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