San Diego is taking emergency action to keep people and sea lions from hurting each other at the rocky shoreline of La Jolla Point.
The city after working with the California Coastal Commission is asking for approval to close the sea lion rookery next to Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Park.
The tension between the marine mammals who rear their pups on the rugged shoreline and onlookers has been simmering for years.
The attraction of baby sea lions hauled out on the sliver of rocky coast is too enticing for the thousands of people who walk by the region every day.
Local Sierra Club volunteers have been raising the alarm for more than three years and they are quick to share video proof that the animals are being harassed by onlookers.
So city officials hope a temporary emergency closure of the rocky shoreline through mid-September will help minimize dangerous interactions.
“It is imperative that we are taking steps to minimize potential injuries to both the public and the sea lions during pupping season as interactions between the two continue to increase,” said Andy Field, director of the city of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. “It is of utmost importance that we are protecting adults and children while respecting the sea lions as they care for their young.”