A general view of seals resting at Children's Pool on March 16, 2008 in La Jolla, California. In 1931, Ellen Browning Scripps, the newspaper heiress, donated $60,000 for the breakwater seawall, to keep rough waves at bay, and subsequently the state ceded the beach property to the city under the condition that it remain a public park and childrenԳ swimming area. And that it was for much of the century, until the seals began showing up in great numbers. The city regularly closed the beach beginning about 1997 because of water contamination, blaming the seals. A legal battle has raged for the past ten years between animal rights activists who believe the beach should be a reserve for the seals, and locals who want the beach to be opened once again for children and swimmers.