Seal Beach, California

For the EP by The Album Leaf, see Seal Beach (EP).
Seal Beach, California
Charter city[1]

A pier in Seal Beach


Location of Seal Beach within Orange County, California.
Seal Beach, California

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 33°45′33″N 118°4′57″W / 33.75917°N 118.08250°W / 33.75917; -118.08250Coordinates: 33°45′33″N 118°4′57″W / 33.75917°N 118.08250°W / 33.75917; -118.08250
Country United States
State California
County Orange
Incorporated October 27, 1915[2]
  Type Council/city manager[1]
  Mayor Sandra Massa-Lavitt[3]
  Total 13.040 sq mi (33.775 km2)
  Land 11.286 sq mi (29.231 km2)
  Water 1.754 sq mi (4.544 km2)  13.45%
Elevation[5] 13 ft (4 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)[6]
  Total 24,168
  Estimate (2013)[6] 24,605
  Density 1,900/sq mi (720/km2)
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8)
  Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 90740
Area code 562
FIPS code 06-70686
GNIS feature IDs 1661416, 2411851
Official name Anaheim Landing[7]
Reference no. 219

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.

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. A majority of the city's acreage is devoted to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach military base.[8]


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.[7]

By the 20th century, it was known as Bay City, but there was already a Bay City located in Northern California. When the time of incorporation on October 27, 1915, the town was named Seal Beach. The town became a popular recreation destination in the area. The Joy Zone, a beach-side amusement park built in 1916, was the first in Orange County.[9]

The United States Navy's Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach was originally constructed during World War II for loading, unloading, and storing of ammunition for the Pacific Fleet, and especially those US Navy warships home-ported in Long Beach and San Diego, California. With closure of the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California, it has become the primary source of munitions for a majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.[10]

2011 shooting

The deadliest mass killing in Orange County history occurred in Seal Beach. On October 12, 2011, a mass shooting took place at the local Salon Meritage hair salon. Eight people inside the salon and one person in the parking lot were shot, and only one victim survived.[11] The suspect in the shooting, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, was arrested without incident[12][13] and charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.[14] Prior to the shooting, there had been only one murder in Seal Beach during the previous four years.[15]


Seal Beach is located at 33°45′33″N 118°4′57″W / 33.75917°N 118.08250°W / 33.75917; -118.08250 (33.759283, -118.082396).[16]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.0 square miles (34 km2). 11.3 square miles (29 km2) of it is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) of it (13.45%) is water.


Seal Beach has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with Mediterranean characteristics.

Climate data for Seal Beach, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 68
Average low °F (°C) 46
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.95
Source: Weather Channel [17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201524,619[18]1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]


The 2010 United States Census[20] reported that Seal Beach had a population of 24,168. The population density was 1,853.3 people per square mile (715.6/km2). The racial makeup of Seal Beach was 20,154 (83.4%) White (76.9% Non-Hispanic White),[21] 279 (1.2%) African American, 65 (0.3%) Native American, 2,309 (9.6%) Asian, 58 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 453 (1.9%) from other races, and 850 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,331 persons (9.6%).

The Census reported that 23,943 people (99.1% of the population) lived in households, 22 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 203 (0.8%) were institutionalized.

There were 13,017 households, out of which 1,866 (14.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 4,891 (37.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 788 (6.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 283 (2.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 383 (2.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 66 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. Of the households, 6,312 (48.5%) were made up of individuals and 4,340 (33.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.84. There were 5,962 families (45.8% of all households); the average family size was 2.65.

The population was spread out with 3,151 people (13.0%) under the age of 18, 1,176 people (4.9%) aged 18 to 24, 4,076 people (16.9%) aged 25 to 44, 6,513 people (26.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 9,252 people (38.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 57.3 years. For every 100 females there were 78.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.3 males.

There were 14,558 housing units at an average density of 1,116.4 per square mile (431.0/km2), of which 9,713 (74.6%) were owner-occupied, and 3,304 (25.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.4%. 17,689 people (73.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 6,254 people (25.9%) lived in rental housing units.

During 20092013, Seal Beach had a median household income of $51,242, with 9.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[21]


As of the census[22] of 2000, there were 24,157 people, 13,048 households, and 5,884 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,099.5 inhabitants per square mile (810.3/km2). There were 14,267 housing units at an average density of 1,240.0 per square mile (478.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.91% White, 1.44% African American, 0.30% Native American, 5.74% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.43% of the population.

There were 13,048 households, out of which 13.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.9% were non-families. Of all households, 48.8% were made up of individuals and 34.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.83 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.3% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 37.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females there were 78.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,079, and the median income for a family was $72,071. Males had a median income of $61,654 versus $41,615 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,589. About 3.2% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.2% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.


The major employer in Seal Beach is The Boeing Company, employing roughly 1,000 people. Its facility was originally built to manufacture the second stage of the Saturn V rocket for NASA's Apollo manned space flight missions to the Moon and for the Skylab program. Boeing Homeland Security & Services (airport security, etc.) is based in Seal Beach and Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems (satellite systems and classified programs) is headquartered in Seal Beach.

Top employers

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[23] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Boeing 1,000
2 MagTek 250
3 Siemens Medical Solutions 200
4 Target 200
5 First Team Real Estate 150
6 Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach 150
7 Bixby Ranch Company 135
8 Kohl's 121
9 Spaghettini Grill and Lounge 105
10 Albertsons 100
11 Custom Building Products 96
12 Autism Partnership 95
13 P2F Holdings 85
14 Health Net 75
15 Original Parts Group 75
16 BakerCorp 71

Arts and culture

"Anaheim Landing" on an 1875 map.

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 and August, the Christmas Parade in December along with Santa and the Reindeer. Also in the fall is the Kite Festival in September.


The record label Mash Down Babylon Records is based in Seal Beach, operated out of a garage known as The Elizabethan. The label was founded by Matt Embree, lead vocalist and guitarist in the Seal Beach-based progressive rock/post-hardcore band RX Bandits.

Other points of interest

Anaheim Landing (now Seal Beach), 1891.

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.[24][9] The Red Car trolley tracks once passed through Seal Beach going south to the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Going north into Long Beach a rider could then take the Red Cars through much of Los Angeles County.[25]

Seal Beach is also home to the Bay Theatre, which was a popular venue for independent film and revival screenings. It was closed in 2012 and is seeking funds to reopen.

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 Ridgway's light-footed 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.


Seal Beach on a crowded summer afternoon
Seal Beach Pier

The second longest wooden pier in California (the longest is in Oceanside)[26][9] 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.

Surfing locations in Seal Beach include the Seal Beach pier and the river-"Stingray Bay" (or Ray Baythe surfer's nickname for the mouth of the San Gabriel Riverthe stingrays are attracted by the heated water from several upstream powerplants). Classic longboard builders in the area include Harbour Surfboards, established in 1959, in Seal Beach.


Seal Beach, City Hall.(National Registered Historic Place)

Seal Beach City Hall is location on 211 8th St, Seal Beach, CA 90740.

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. The mayor and mayor pro tempore are chosen by and from the council.[27]

State and federal representation

In the California State Legislature, Seal Beach is in the 34th Senate District, represented by Republican Janet Nguyen, and in the 72nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Travis Allen.[28]

In the United States House of Representatives, Seal Beach is in California's 48th congressional district, represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.[29]


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, Los Alamitos 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.[30]

Notable people


  1. 1 2 "About Us". City of Seal Beach. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  2. "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. "Government, City Council". City of Seal Beach. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  4. "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
  5. "Seal Beach". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Seal Beach (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Anaheim Landing". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  9. 1 2 3 Mellen, Greg (October 17, 2015). "From sin city roots to quiet enclave, Seal Beach considers its future at 100 years". Orange County Register.
  10. Retrieved on 2008-10-15.
  11. "8 Slain in O.C.'S Deadliest Mass Killing (video)". The Orange County Register. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  12. Gunman kills 8 at Seal Beach salon. Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2011.
  13. California shooting: Eight killed at Seal Beach salon BBC News, October 13, 2011.
  14. "Seal Beach shootings: Death penalty sought". The Orange County Register. October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  15. "8 Dead in O.C.'S Deadliest Mass Killing". The Orange County Register. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  16. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  17. Average weather for Seal Beach Weather Channel Retrieved 2008-03-29
  18. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  19. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Seal Beach city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  21. 1 2 "Seal Beach (city) Quickfacts". United States Census Bureau.
  22. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  23. City of Seal Beach CAFR
  24. "Red Car Museum - Seal Beach - Red Car Artifacts - Old Photos". Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  25. Staff (May 12, 2015). "A look at the trains that built the O.C. coast". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  26. California Coastal Resource Guide. California Coastal Commission. p. 352.
  27. "Government". City of Seal Beach. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  28. "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  29. "California's 48th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  30. Alexander, Karen; Meier, James (August 25, 1999). "Arts High School Now Considering a Santa Ana Site". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  31. Dizdar, Zdenko; Grčić, Marko; Ravlić, Slaven; Stuparić, Darko (1997). Tko je tko u NDH. Minerva.
  32. Cannell, Michael (1995-09-18). "Chairman Of The Longboard". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  33. Connelly, Laylan (December 26, 2011). "Surfline founder Sean Collins dies". The Orange County Register. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  34. Kinchen, David M. (2007-05-27). "BOOK REVIEW: Clay Eals Crafts Ultimate Biography of Immensely Influential Songwriter/Performer Steve Goodman". Huntington News.Net. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  35. Djanseziang, Kevork (March 17, 2015). "Seal Beach's Jack Haley, who played for UCLA, Chicago Bulls, Lakers, dead at 51". The Orange County Register. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  37. Carpenter, Eric (2008-08-03). "Memories as good as gold". The Orange County Register. pp. News 6.
  38. Eubanks, Lon (August 31, 1995). "Stopping the Snow Melt : Ram Broadcaster Trying to Get Acclimated to New Life With the Team in a Hot, Steamy Town". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  39. Boehm, Mike (1998-08-19). "A Black Day Dawning". Los Angeles Times. pp. F–2. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  40. Weber, Bruce (June 11, 2014). "Bob Welch, Pitching Ace and Rangy Prototype for Today's Power Arms, Is Dead at 57". The New York Times. p. B11. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
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