La Jolla Friends of the Seals

Children's Pool Beach
La Jolla, California


This website was the original La Jolla Friends of the Seals site, created in 1999. However, the official LJFOS website is now at It is in process of being updated; for ongoing information about September 2004 and ongoing developments, see Save the San Diego Seals. The page you're at now was re-posted in September 2004 for historical purposes, when the San Diego City Council re-opened the proposal to dredge Children's Pool (which was defeated in 1999).
Current and recent LJFS news and activities
New material added:
14 October 1999

Current morning seal counts

MONDAY, Nov. 1: San Diego City Council voted to make the Seal Rock Marine Mammal Reserve permanent, with a review in 5 years. Thank you for your support!

To join LJFS, call us at (619) 687- 3588

At the small sheltered Children's Pool Beach (CPB; formerly Casa De Mañana Beach) in La Jolla, California, Harbor seals have taken up residence. On any given day up to 200 Harbor Seals can be seen "hauling-out" on the beach and adjacent rocks. For the seals the beach is not a place of recreation but a safe haven. Although completely adapted to the marine environment seals must spend many hours out of water, resting, regulating body chemistry and re- oxygenating their blood. Preferring to give birth on land, the seals have established the CPB as a rookery (first birth reported in 1996).

The close proximity of these seals to humans is unique, as harbor seals will almost always "flush" into the water when approached. This has allowed the 120,000 monthly visitors from all over the world to see seals resting, mothers birthing, pups nursing, males splashing the water with their flippers, and couples swimming together in their mating ritual.

The CPB has been closed for 2 years for the safety of the seals and people. Attempts to remove the seals and reclaim the beach for recreation proved unpopular and were rejected. Concerned citizens, including thousands of children, spoke out: "WE PREFER THE SEALS" (click here for more about the children's VOTE)

It isn't a matter of whether people use Children's Pool Beach, but of how they want to use it.

In the absence of adequate monitoring of the seals, La Jolla Friends of the Seals (LJFS) a non- profit organization was formed and has implemented a volunteer Naturalist-Docent guide program to help protect the seal colony with education and a weekend presence on site. LJFS Docents answer questions about seal behavior and the natural history of the area (look for the bright turquoise T-shirts). Our Docent program gives volunteers an opportunity to practice local environmental activism in one of the most beautiful places in southern California.

The CPB is a rich natural setting with seals on the beach, gray whales and bottlenose dolphins offshore, brown pelicans on the rocks, cliff swallows darting about, ground squirrels on the bluffs, a wealth of invertebrate life in the tidepools,. and even an occasional sea lion or elephant seal making an appearance on the beach.

La Jolla Friends of the Seals works in co-operation with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the City of San Diego. LJFS is endorsed by Earth Island Institute, San Diego Animal Advocates and Eydith Scripps.

Please join LJFS by volunteering your time or financial support.

Contact LJFS at

Or call (619) 687-3588

To report harrassment or seals in trouble contact the National Marine Fisheries Service at
1-800-853-1964 or

Some frequently-asked questions:

Why do harbor seals haul out at Children's Pool?
It seems like a simple question, but there are several parts to it.

What other animals are found in the area?
Elephant seals, for one! This is a work-in-progress.

How do you tell the males and females apart?
Most of the time, you don't!

Where did all the seals GO??
No seals at the beach today? It's not unsusual -- time, tide and season all influence their use of the area.

LJFS Harbor seal bibliography
Articles on harbor seals.

Any other questions? Email us and we'll try to answer.


Information and Education National Marine Mammal Laboratory [NOAA]

National Marine Fisheries Service

The Society for Marine Mammalogy

Online Zoologists: Pinnipeds

Sea World's Harbor Seal page

Año Nuevo Elephant Seal Home Page

Shark Research (includes International Shark Attack File)

Conservation and Rescue International Marine Mammal Project [Earth Island]

Seal Conservation Society

Friends of the Seal Lion Marine Mammal Center [Laguna Beach]

The Marine Mammal Center [N. California]

Marine Mammal Stranding Center [East Coast]

La Jolla seals San Diego City Council

Harbor Seals of La Jolla [Palomar College]

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

San Diego Animal Advocates

Logo by LJFS Docent Liesl Schindler (age 15)

La Jolla Friends of the Seals
PO Box 2016
La Jolla CA 92038

LJFS gratefully acknowledges the support of:
Allsystems Plus Computers 4036 30th St., San Diego CA

Bob Davis Camera Shop, Inc. 7720 Fay Ave, La Jolla CA


We have had

visitors to this site
since 8 August 1999

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