by Shanna Klahn
An average of 475 stingray incidents are reported annually at Seal Beach but chief lifeguard, Joe Bailey, said they do not see it as a problem. Seal Beach is known for its family friendly atmosphere and is voted one of the OC’s top ten safest cities. Seal Beach has also been subjected to the nickname Stingray Bay.
A nearby power plant is responsible for the growing population of stingrays that inhabit the bay. The power plant pumps water into the ocean, increasing the water temperature and therefore, the stingray population.
Bailey said they have taken precautions to warn visitors of the circumstances. They have closed off the beach area on First Street from swimming to keep people from standing around in the sand. The First Street Beach is now for surfers only.
Bailey also noted that there are warning signs posted to inform beachgoers to take precaution and lifeguards on duty to teach what they like to call the Stingray Shuffle.
The shuffle is encouraged for all visitors—there’s not much to it, just shuffle your feet in the sand to make the stingrays aware of your presence. Bailey likes to inform visitors that they are more scared of you than you are of them.
Regardless of the foreboding nickname, visitors and locals alike still frequent the waters at Seal Beach boogie boarding and surfing in the warm waves.