Southern California

King Harbor Sea Lions to Have Dock

Sea Lion Dock

King Harbor's sea lions will be able to repose on a 700-square-foot wooden dock in six weeks as the City of Redondo Beach works to address complaints from boaters and workers.

The city council voted Tuesday to spend $53,000 to keep the sea lions from crowding King Harbor's marinas, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports.

Workers and boaters say the mammals have caused thousands of dollars in damage. They get into public areas and lash out at people when startled.

While the animals are cute, Redondo Beach Marina property manager Leslie Page said they can also "have the bite of a bull." She recently found five sea lions wandering around the parking lot, and another knocked on the front door of a nearby restaurant.

"It's completely out of control," said live-aboard boater Kelly Mohan.

Marine biology students at the Chadwick School have been studying the sea lions for a decade, and said a bait barge used by the mammals sank two years ago. With a designated haul-out spot, the animals would be much less aggressive.

Staff members say warm water has depleted food sources for the sea lions and stranded them on beaches up and down the coast, a trend that's likely to continue as the summer heats up. They expect the barge will mostly be used by sick, dehydrated and hungry sea lions and their pups.

The city's tidelands fund would pay for the barge, which has room for 116 sea lions.

Mayor Steve Aspel said he doesn't want the barge to attract sea lions the harbor, but to "get them off our docks."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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