San Diego seal-protection plan approved

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The California Coastal Commission has approved San Diego's plan to close a children's beach for five months each year to protect seals that come ashore to care for their pups.

U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/1uV7dzt ) says the commission on Thursday unanimously approved closing Children's Pool in La Jolla between Dec. 15 and May 15. Violators could face misdemeanor penalties of up to $1,000 in fines or six months in jail.

The Children's Pool is an artificial cove that was used as a swimming hole for youngsters until seals began moving in during the 1990s — spurring a feud between supporters of the animals and those who want beach access.

The city put up a rope barrier and closed the beach at night but officials say some people still harass the seals.