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This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

Now that the city has revised the 1931 Tidelands Trust of the beach at Children’s Pool to include a marine mammal park, it is time for the city to explore the possibilities:

Economic

• The La Jolla seals should be on every Chamber of Commerce pamphlet of outdoor attractions.

Publicity

• The new lifeguard tower should be re-configured to include a visitor center at the sidewalk level.

• A professional set of docents should be recruited to educate visitors about the harbor seal and the entire eco-system.

Scientific Studies

• UC San Diego and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography should study the marine mammals.

• Local schools should include the seals and sea lions in their science and outdoor program.

• Community programs could offer special events surrounding pupping season — call it Sealabration.

• Partner with the Natural History Museum for live-cam coverage of the colony on the beach.

• Close the beach to visitors on the sand but improve the viewing areas such as paving the seawall for easier walking.

Art

• Install marine sand paintings of underwater life around the pool.

• Re-arrange the parking to include off-site parking and shuttle buses.

• Organize coast walk tours to include the Cove (sea lions) and the seals (Children’s Pool).

Businesses

• Emphasize oceanic themes such as a fish market, boating and scuba, just not at the pool.

• Install viewmaster binoculars which look like parking meters. Charge for viewing.

• Emphasize wildlife in Saturday lectures and/or films nearby.

Celebrate nature at this most beautiful place while protecting the wildlife. It could be a World Heritage Site at Children’s Pool and the beach leading to the Cove.

Ellen Shively submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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