Seal Beach is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,168, up from 24,157 at the 2000 census. The city was incorporated on October 25, 1915. Seal Beach is located in the westernmost corner of Orange County. To the northwest, just across the border with Los Angeles County, lies the city of Long Beach and the adjacent San Pedro Bay. To the southeast are Huntington Harbour, a neighborhood of Huntington Beach, and Sunset Beach, also part of Huntington Beach. To the east lie the city of Westminster and the neighborhood of West Garden Grove, part of the city of Garden Grove. To the north lie the unincorporated community of Rossmoor and the city of Los Alamitos.
Early on, the area that is now Seal Beach was known as "Anaheim Landing", as the boat landing and Seaside recreation area named after the nearby town of Anaheim. The site of Anaheim Landing is now registered as a California Historical Landmark.
By the 20th century, it was known as Bay City, but there was already a Bay City located in Northern California. When the time came to incorporate on October 25, 1915, the town was named Seal Beach. The town became a popular recreation destination in the area, and featured a beach-side amusement park long before Disneyland was founded inland.
Arts and Culture
Annual cultural events
The Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in April and its Fish Fry (started in 1943) in July are two of the biggest events in Seal Beach. There has been a Rough Water Swim the same weekend as the Fish Fry since the 1960s. The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsors many events, including: a Classic Car Show in April, a Summer Concert series in July & August, the Christmas Parade in December along with Santa & the Reindeer. Also in the fall is the Kite Festival in September.
Other Points Of Interest
On Electric Avenue where the railroad tracks used to run, there is the Red Car Museum which features a restored Pacific Electric Railway Red Car. The Red Car trolley tracks once passed through Seal Beach going south to the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Going north into Long Beach you could then take the Red Cars through much of Los Angeles County.Seal Beach is also home to the Bay Theatre, a popular venue for independent film and revival screenings.
The Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is located on part of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. Much of the refuge's 911 acres (3.69 km2) is the remnant of the saltwater marsh in the Anaheim Bay estuary (the rest of the marsh became the bayside community of Huntington Harbour, which is part of Huntington Beach). Three endangered species, the light-footed Clapper Rail, the California Least Tern, and the Belding's Savannah Sparrow, can be found nesting in the refuge. With the loss and degradation of coastal wetlands in California, the remaining habitat, including the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach and Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach, has become much more important for migrating and wintering shorebirds, waterfowl, and seabirds. Although the refuge is a great place for birdwatching, because it is part of the weapons station, access is limited and usually restricted to once-a-month tours.
The second longest wooden pier in California (the longest is in Oceanside) is located in Seal Beach and is used for fishing and sightseeing. The pier has periodically suffered severe damage due to storms and other mishaps, requiring extensive reconstruction. A plaque at the pier's entrance memorializes Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, 1938, Project No. Calif. 1723-F, a rebuilding necessitated by storms in 1935. Another plaque honors the individuals, businesses, and groups who helped rebuild the pier after a storm on March 2, 1983, tore away several sections. Most prominent was a "Save the Pier" group formed in response to an initial vote by the City Council not to repair the pier. The ensuing outcry of dismay among residents caused the City Council to reverse its stance while claiming the city lacked the necessary funds. Residents mobilized and eventually raised $2.3 million from private and public donors to rebuild the pier.
The city is administered under a council-manager form of government, and is governed by a five-member city council serving four-year alternating terms.In the state legislature Seal Beach is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 67th Assembly District, represented by Republican Jim Silva. Federally, Seal Beach is located in California's 46th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
Seal Beach is currently under the Los Alamitos School District. Younger students (K-5) go to McGaugh Elementary School, Hopkinson Elementary School, Rossmoor Elementary, Lee Elementary, or Weaver Elementary. Students in grades 6–8 attend either Oak Middle School or McAuliffe Middle School. High school students go to Los Alamitos High School. Until 2000, the Orange County High School of the Arts was part of Los Alamitos High School. In 2000, the school district suffered a major blow when the community lost the Orange County High School of the Arts to Santa Ana, where it is now located.