In the 1930s, Ellen Browning Scripps (for whom the nearby Ellen Browning Scripps Park and many other local points of interest were named) paid for the construction of this sea wall to create a protected area where children could safely play and swim. The cove remained as such until the 1990s, when sand washed into the pool area and transformed the area into a better fit for resting and birthing harbor seals. By 1997 the cove was closed to public use due to the unsanitary conditions of the water. Swimming is currently allowed in the cove only from mid-May to mid-December, outside of pupping season (although it's still not recommended).
At this point, the main draw to this site is to view the harbor seals. The seawall provides a great viewing platform from which to watch the seals on the beach, swimming in the water, or sunbathing on the rocks. The area is easy to access even if parking isn't readily available, and it's kid-friendly with restrooms and picnic areas nearby.