Plett explained that in the months following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, sea lions began appearing in Pier 39’s Marina as they realized that the Bay has “no predators and is extremely abundant in sea life."
However, while the sea lions were enjoying their stay at the docks — as the shallow water protected them from large predators such as sharks and orcas — the dock’s original tenants were aggravated by the massive mammals.
“When the sea lions first arrived, there were a lot of complaints because not only were they really loud and smelled awful, but these 800-pound sea lions blocked tenants and fishermen from accessing their boats,” Plett said.
However, with each passing month, the number of sea lions on the docks continued to swell and the city began to realize that these sea lions didn't just swim into the Bay.
They swam into their hearts as well.
So the city decided that tenants, not the sea lions, would be relocated and they built new docks for the sea lions, later known as K-Dock.