Seal Rock has always been a place the seals in San Diego have called called home. The first mention of seals in the area was in 1992, when it was noted that the population of marine mammals, particularly harbor seals, had been increasing over the previous 10 years. In November of 1994, the city created a Marine Mammal Reserve in the now Children’s Pool Beach area for a 5-year period. Over the next twenty years, controversy over the seal habitat has created in increase in tourist attraction to the area, especially because the seal population seemed to grow during this time.
As of 2013, a Judge on the superior court and California Coastal Commission approved a year-round barrier rope to keep people away from the seals, but this does not stop visitors’ ability to catch a view of the popular beach. San Diego’s seals flock by the hundreds to the beach during mating season and flop up on the warm sand. Visitors to the beach can see huge herds of seals lounging around in the calm of Children’s Pool Beach. During this time, lifeguards and seal advocates monitor the beach to ensure the seals’ safety. Swimming is allowed in the area, but it is not recommended due to the high amount of bacteria from the excess amounts of seal feces.
See San Diego’s Seals Up Close!
San Diego’s seal beach is not for those looking for a family fun day, but those interested in seeing marine life up close and personal in the wild should take a visit. It is a rare chance to see this mammal during mating season and to see the full cycle of the season develop. Onlookers will even be able to see the pregnant females beached on the sand.