SeaWorld Ends Summertime Fireworks for Now

by on April 17, 2017 · 19 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

SeaWorld has announced its Mission Bay theme park will not shoot off fireworks this summer. Fireworks will still go off during 3-day holiday weekends and a few other special events. Plus, SeaWorld will not disclose whether nightly fireworks are gone for good, only that they are on “hiatus for the foreseeable future.”

The “official story” is that SeaWorld is preparing for its new “Electric Ocean”  a nighttime lighting display. In typical fashion, SeaWorld could not admit that maybe – in its effort to be more environmentally-sensitive – that the summertime tradition is halting due to public pressure. (For more of the official line, see SDU-T)

For years, San Diegans have signed petitions calling on SeaWorld to stop their summer explosions over the Bay.

From our July 2015 post,
Seaworld Pet vs firewords picHit the link and sign the Petition that calls on the San Diego City Council to ban the nightly fireworks at SeaWorld.

From Petition:

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis,every day for 3 months straight during the summer season alone. They are damaging the overall physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration. Humane societies across North America report that after firework displays they are swamped with calls about lost dogs and cats. Dogs are brought to shelters with paws bloody from running or torn skin from tearing through a backyard wooden fence or, worse, crippled from being hit by a car.

The need to protect both companion animals and nondomesticated animals from fireworks harm is exemplified in the numerous stories of animal suffering that we are left with after the smoke has cleared.

Dogs have responded to firework explosions by breaking through windows and screens, often running miles away from their homes, only to end up exhausted, bloody and confused or dead on the road

Exposure to hazardous noise is one of the most common causes of irreversible hearing loss. Symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss tend to be subtle in the earlier stages. Hearing loss tends to occur first for high-pitch sounds. As a result, the bass or “volume” of speech appears unchanged, but the clarity of speech decreases. The ability to communicate in the presence of background noise becomes increasingly difficult and can cause anxiety, stress and fatigue for the individual trying to understand speech.

Prolonged exposure to sounds exceeding 80 decibels (dB) can result in permanent hearing loss. The louder the noise, the less time an individual can be exposed before permanent damage will occur. Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. Fireworks pose a significant and immediate risk to your family’s hearing health.

We are asking San Diego city council to ban the fireworks at SeaWorld and ask them to and switch to laser light shows, which provide all the awe of fireworks displays and are kinder to animals and the environment and show a courteous and decent neighborly behavior to the people of San Diego.

Fireworks are being blamed for the recent deaths of 5,000 birds in Arkansas. The professional-grade explosives scared red-winged blackbirds and European starlings out of their nests and sent them into panicked flight. The night-blind birds crashed into houses, signs, and other obstacles, causing blunt-force trauma and death.

What are the ravages of the fireworks locally? Has this been studied? What is happening to the animals, birds, fish and birds of the San Diego River and our bayfront!?

And now the park is using a different vendor this year, using a higher degree of firepower and they are louder and more dangerous to animals, your childrens and pet’s ears and to your family’s’ emotional well being!

1. Fireworks have been proven to be harmful to pets and wildlife.

The use of explosive fireworks near animals is considered cruel and inhumane as it causes stress and fear. Animals who are too close to explosions often suffer from burns and eye damage, among others.

2. Animal ears are very much more sensitive than the human ear.

Firework explosions can permanently damage their sense of hearing. Many animals are terrified of these noises so they try to break free, jump off fences to escape the terror.

3. Animals that flee from fireworks often get lost or killed.

Cats and dogs are prone to being hit by vehicles and birds are prone to fly into buildings and end-up breaking their necks.

4. Animals get injured.

There are dogs and other domesticated animals that are brought to shelters with paws and some body parts that are bloody from running or torn skin from tearing through a backyard wooden fence or, worse, crippled from being hit by a car.

5. Birds often fly away in fright.

And nesting mothers sometimes tend to get lost trying to return to their nests. Waterfowls such as herons, ducks, pelicans, and other sea birds become entangled in fragments of fireworks that land in ponds and waterways.

6. Fishes, sea turtles, and other marine animals ingest the firework debris and die.

And also cause the deaths of the scavenging animals that eat them.

7. Even insects are at risk.

Insects like bees and butterflies can become disoriented, injured, and killed.

Write to the city of San Diego City Council

I urge you to consider the harmful effects of fireworks on companion animals and on the wellbeing of the residents within a 2o mile radius

The fireworks that are scheduled every single evening at SeaWorld during the summer, 90 days in a row and every weekend during the off season have severe mental and physical effects on both wildlife and on pets and on some children.

Fireworks are NOT friendly to the community at large.

  • Firework explosions can produce a blind panic in animals that can lead to serious injuries, deep-rooted and debilitating fears or even death;
  • Using fireworks near animals is both cruel and inhumane as explosive fireworks cause animals immense confusion, anxiety, fear, and stress; and
  • The ears of most animals are considerably more sensitive than the human ear and fireworks can permanently affect their acute sense of hearing.
  • Fireworks and animals do not make a humane match. In this age of technology, we can create celebratory displays that are both thrilling and joyful without endangering our dogs and cats.
  • A humane and 21st century solution is to replace the fireworks with a laser light show instead. This concept would be unique and attract even more patrons. It would be more conducive for the animals, the environment and the neighbors, who are taxpayers and voters as well.


Here is Judi Curry’s view.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Blake April 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm

I really enjoyed the Seaworld fireworks, it was something to brag about in our city. Annoying to hear that a few dog owners who don’t know how to control their pets from barking have worked so hard to get rid of nightly fireworks. The environmental impact is not nearly as bad as all the nitrogen you are pumping into the water table with your dog poop.

You just bummed out 1000s of kids and adults who refuse to grow up. Congratulations!

Blake Herrschaft
OB Planning Board


Chris April 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

On the plus side, people who live in the immediate area will no longer have to put with that shit on a nightly basis. Special occasions are one thing but nightly? Those kids will get over it for those who refuse to grow up? What ever.


Frank Gormlie April 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Blake, mi amigo; I can remember those nights trying to put my daughter to bed when the fireworks would go off – and it sounded like the US Marines were landing on Dog Beach. Serious disturbance of the peace and tranquility of OB. The pollutants from them are enough to ban them over bodies of water where wildlife is trying to survive.

BTW, don’t have a dog.

Frank Gormlie
Former Chair, OB Planning Board
Chair, OB Grassroots Organization
etc etc


Judy Collier April 18, 2017 at 7:41 am

Thank you, Blake. I thought I was the only OB resident who liked the fireworks. My dogs didn’t care. For a few minutes around 9:00 pm I could go on my front porch and have the magic of fireworks. I am sorry that my minor joy was a cause of such discomfort for others.


Frank Gormlie April 18, 2017 at 11:33 am

Just goes to show ya – reasonable people can disagree.


Geoff Page April 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

So nice to see such empathy. So, your dogs were OK with it so the hell with all the other dogs that have cowered in fear every night because of those displays? I’ve had three dogs over the past 30 years that were petrified of the noise. I have to sit on my bed, turn up the TV, and comfort one of my current dogs until the fireworks are over. Your minor joy is a small price to pay for not having to do that any more.


Geoff Page April 18, 2017 at 11:52 am

“Annoying to hear that a few dog owners who don’t know how to control their pets from barking have worked so hard to get rid of nightly fireworks. The environmental impact is not nearly as bad as all the nitrogen you are pumping into the water table with your dog poop” The sheer lack of empathy and knowledge of animals is astounding in this comment. Nitrogen into the water table? It wasn’t just dog lovers that opposed the fireworks, it was people with little kids, war veterans, anyone who lives near the displays. After 30 years of listening to those fireworks from my house, I am elated and I might even enjoy an occasional display on the 4th of July now that, until now, was just another night of booms and flashes. So sorry to hear you are bummed out and have nothing to brag about concerning this beautiful city any more.


OB DUDE April 17, 2017 at 5:08 pm

A welcomed change…there was no reason for them to be so loud. Same thing with many of those loud plans where you can feel the impact of the noise in your inner body which IIMO is very disturbing.


Marc Snelling April 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm

The fireworks were cool when I first moved to the area 20 years ago. It wasn’t long before the novelty wore off and they were just an annoyance. Does anyone really want 200 fireworks shows a year? Some of the places I’ve lived around the bay you hear (and feel) the explosions multiple times as they bounce off the buildings. Not unlike a place I stayed next to a National Guard firing range. About time.


So Happy April 18, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Finally! They were a disturbance. It’s like having a holiday every night. Xmas wouldn’t be fun every night either. Leave them for special events.


Blake April 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Love all the comments and discourse, and appreciate knowing more about the anti-fireworks crowd! Thank you. Daily fireworks at a reasonable hour, those 4th of July marshmallow fights, and the freedom to drink a beer on the beach are things I was in love with which have all disappeared in a mere 10 years. I’ll manage, but I’ll miss these amazing things. Shocking to see the OB crowd so ban-happy. If your kid can’t handle fireworks at 9pm, you’re raising a wimp.

Either way, you’re all awesome! Just wanted to let you know some people loved the idea of nightly fireworks for 5-10min.


Chris April 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm

I miss being able to drink a beer at the beach but losing that is a small price compared to how out of hand things had gotten. I cracked up at how so many thought would would lose tourism dollars on the alcohol ban. As to the nightly fireworks, I cant off hand think of anyone I know who liked that. At best some tolerated it but still preferred it would stop, and not just OB. I can hear them in Hillcrest. I can only imagine what it’s like for people who live closer to SW.

Interesting you are saying people are raising a wimp but are still awesome.


Geoff Page April 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Raising wimps? That comment demonstrates a complete lack of empathy. If you are raising children, well, I feel sorry for them. Daily fireworks at a reasonable hour? You call after nine o’clock at night a reasonable hour? I doubt that most people would agree with that. The marshmallow fights were fine before they got completely out of hand. You couldn’t walk the sidewalks the next day without your shoes sticking to the pavement.

You said you just wanted everyone to know that some people loved the fireworks. You think maybe you could have done that without denigrating dog owners and people with frightened children. It is possible to have contrary opinion without being contrary.


Molly April 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Mr Blake – Your comment, “If your kid can’t handle fireworks at 9pm, you’re raising a wimp,” demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge or experience of raising a child. I’m assuming you don’t have children (no one who does would have uttered such nonsense) and I also assume that someday you will and you will then understand how stupid this comment is. Maybe you do have kids, but it’s the wife that deals with them. I don’t know.

But it is astounding that you believe this. Maybe you had just smoked some strong stuff and were feeling heady, but please, reconsider your stance here. Not to mention how you call yourself an envirnomentalist yet give SeaWorld a pass on the shit that they put into MB


Dr. Jack Hammer April 19, 2017 at 6:20 am

I think it’s funny how people think Mission Bay is some kind of nature preserve.

From Wikipedia…

From 1957 to 1962 large amounts of industrial waste, including millions of gallons of hydrofluoric, nitric, sulfuric, and hydrochloric acids, dichromate, cyanide, and carbon tetrachloride, were deposited into an unlined landfill located in the south shores section of Mission Bay Park immediately east of SeaWorld. No remediation efforts have occurred


Geoff Page April 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

And your point is, Mr. Hammer? Since it has this problem already then it’s ok to dump more crap into the bay? Have you spent any time over there? The fish and the birds seem to be enjoying it despite this awful past. It may not be pristine but nature has accommodated to it as nature always does so what do you say we don’t make it any worse?


Marc Snelling April 19, 2017 at 9:57 am

Wikipedia? You could get a lot more detail on the toxic dump from OB Rag articles. Mission Bay is a natural area, polluted or not. What is your point? Since its already polluted lets keep adding to it?


Don Atenow April 19, 2017 at 7:43 am

Nightly fireworks at SeaWorld – won’t miss ’em at all – too many other things to enjoy on and around the Peninsula.


Emily April 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm

I’m sorry to hear these will be ending. Too bad there was no middle ground like maybe just Friday/Sat summer nights and holidays. Our family really enjoyed watching the fireworks from our porch. On the rare night my son was still awake at 9 or 10 it would be such a treat for him to get to watch them.


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