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La Jolla Sea Lion Situation Now A ‘Crisis’

Photo caption:

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Visitors in La Jolla Cove stand on the bluffs along the ocean, Nov. 19, 2015.

La Jolla Sea Lion Situation Now A ‘Crisis’

GUEST:

Steve Haskins, former president, La Jolla Town Council

Transcript

The ongoing poop problem in La Jolla appears to be getting worse.

How much worse?

Residents are now calling it a crisis.

"It’s not just the smell of the sea lions on the rocky bluffs," said Steve Haskins, the former president of the La Jolla Town Council. "Now it’s actually the sea lions taking over the stairways, sometimes they don’t let people go to the beach or leave the beach because you have very large male sea lions on the stairways, which can be very aggressive."

Pollution from sea lion and bird droppings in the ocean also led to the cancellation of the annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim race this year, said Haskins.

La Jolla Cove was under a health advisory warning for about two weeks in May due to high levels of pollution. Historically, advisories average two days in the cove, according to county staff.

Over the years, a number of creative ideas to address the stench have been proposed. In 2013 the city began the application of a bioactive product on the bluffs. Early this year, a group of La Jolla residents and business owners suggested setting up rotating plastic cylinders that will roll the marine mammals off the rocks as they try to jump out of the water.

Haskins said no action on that plan was taken.

Now he is suggesting the city spray water on the sea lions, which the animals don't like, to remove them off the beach. Haskins said this solution would require no approval from authorities, and the city could do it immediately.

The city commissioned a report on the sea lions that was supposed to come out in May, according to Haskins, but it hasn't yet been published.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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