those complaining about the sea lions' noise and by-product vandalism
need to realize that this is nature at work. It is the very same
nature that, likely, drew them to live among the beauty that is
Newport Harbor. In other words, as more than one letter writer has
said, the sea lions were here first. Add to that the fact that they
are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Thankfully, it appears the city's harbor commission is proposing
reasonable steps to handle this far-from crisis. Plans still being
finalized include making it illegal to feed wild animals such as sea
lions and to toss fish and similar morsels into the harbor. Those are
both far better than more dire and drastic suggestions such as
carting the sea lions off to far-away areas or even worse.
Of course, it will take time for any solutions to take hold -- if
they even do. Until then, those who are complaining should take a
look around them and decide whether they truly have a reason to be so
irritated. We suspect if they're honest, they will find they don't.
If they do, we suggest ear plugs.