Something smells in La Jolla Cove.
Thanks to some excrement from local birds, a stench is permeating the air in a popular San Diego tourist destination.
“It’s stinky,” owner of George’s at the Cove George Hauer told our media partner La Jolla Light. “Anybody who says it doesn’t smell is not in the neighborhood. It is so prominent, every time when the wind shifts and everybody goes … it’s not something you can ignore.”
Unfortunately for those who reside in La Jolla, clearing out the stench might be a little difficult, as the stinky area is under an uncontrolled jurisdiction. It’s not technically protected by the city since it’s a natural area.
“It is not something we have the resources for, nor is it anything we’ve done previously,” Stacey LoMedico with the City’s Park and Recreation Department told La Jolla Light. “I would say the smell is clearly worse this year because of the lack of rain, and because heat exacerbates the smell.”
Whatever is used to clean is also required to be safe for local wildlife, so the city is investigating a product that could clean up the scent without damaging the environment.
Mitch Thrower, chairman of the nonprofit The La Jolla Foundation, is hoping to raise money to get rid of the smell. The future establishment of the “La Jolla Aroma Fund” will be used to control and eliminate the 30 to 40 tons of fecal matter, he told La Jolla Light.
In the meantime, people will have to put up with the unwelcome aroma.
“It has been extremely frustrating, realizing it’s affected our guests’ experience,” owner of Brockton Villa restaurant Megan Heine told La Jolla Light. “But we can’t control the natural environment. When the tides are really low and the rocks don’t get washed off the smell intensifies.”
While the smell may be unpleasant, it’s not dangerous.
“Although there are odiferous compounds, like smoke and ammonia, that can result in health impacts, in this case, bird feces is most likely not harmful,” Robert Kard, an officer with the San Diego Air Pollution Control District, told La Jolla Light. “It wouldn’t be an inhalation hazard.”