Here in La Jolla, there is a Children’s Pool that was trusted to the city ages ago (1931) by Ellen Browning Scripps. It consists mainly of a sea wall. The idea was to have a safe place for the kiddos to swim. Over time, seals started hanging out on the beachy part on breaks from their adventures. Over more time, they began to birth their pups there annually – the only place of it’s kind in Southern California. This pool has now become famous in its own right – the number one tourist attraction for La Jolla.
In 2007, some mean spirited lady named Valerie O’Sullivan sued the city for not keeping the conditions of the trust. Mainly, she wanted the sand that had accumulated dredged so the seals would leave and kids could swim there again.
On the one hand is the trust. The city is supposed to do with what you give it exactly as you wish.
On the other hand is the change in time since that trust. There are dozens of other safe beaches and pools for children that weren’t previously established. Not to mention EBS wanted kids to enjoy the pool, arguably they enjoy watching the seals (more of that in Part Two).
The city is slightly on the side of the seals, trying to find ways to hide behind marine mammal protection laws in order to avoid pushing them out. In addition, they’ve tried to find that the water would be bacterially unfit for years to come. Unfortunately they seem unable to find a convincing argument for the seals. It has been two years of heated debate back and forth over what to do. I’m currently reading the entire history through the court briefing (if you’re crazy it’s right here).
Here’s the link to the Friends of Mean Spirited Monsters of the Law.
In Part Two I’ll tell you about the recent escalation of the situation and the pros and cons of change.