New and Venerable Institutions: Pier 39 Sea Lions
Here's an In with the New that's also a Farewell Favorite. Around 1990, fans of Seal Rocks and the Cliff House said good bye to the hordes of sea lions that inhabited the area near Ocean Beach. That's because the sea lions migrated to Pier 39 where the they fast became the cheapest popular amusement for tourists in town. Despite a short lived backlash against the racket they raise, the fish they intercept from commercial fish catchers, and their stink, the barking zalophus californianus were not evicted from K-Dock. In fact, Pier 39 management has embraced them and celebrates January 19, 1990 as the date of their arrival. Popular legend has it that the sea lions migrated to Pier 39 to follow a huge herring run in the bay after the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. The sea lions previously left Seal Rocks for a period of years following the 1906 Earthquake.

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