SAN DIEGO — The city council has now voted to shut down access to Point La Jolla and Boomer’s Beach after complaints from residents and activists prompted a new sea lion interaction crackdown.

“People will be prevented from actually going on to the rocks at Point La Jolla, and for Boomer’s Beach, if your purpose is to actually get into the water for swimming, for paddleboarding… you’re still going to be allowed to get into the water,” said Joe LaCava, the city council member representing La Jolla.

The year-round closure is the first of its kind and is being praised by sea lion activists.

“The California Coastal Commission has already ready approved the coastal development permit closing this area year-round and keeping people safely along this wall,” said Carol Toye, a member of the Sierra Club and local sea lion volunteer.  

Tourists are not so happy with the new indefinite closures.

“I was wanting to go down there so she can experience that,” said one woman visiting from Texas.

Robyn with the Sierra Club Seal Society Chair wrote to FOX 5 that “while tourists may want to take their children for a close up view and a selfie with the wild 800 pound sea lions, the Marine Mammal Protection Act recommends viewing from 50 feet.”

“Any disturbance of a sea lion defined as changing their behavior including looking at you or moving away or growling is subject to a fine,” Robyn said.

Now eyes are turning towards the La Jolla Cove as one of the last untouched access points for divers, swimmers, surfers and beachgoers in the area. City council members say they will fight to keep the cove open to the public.

“That’s where we are drawing the line. The La Jolla Cove beach is such a critical part of the recreational for folks who live in the area, for visitors in the area. It’s part of what makes us world famous about we are going to keep La Jolla Cove Beach open,” LaCava said.