BREAKING NEWS: Mayor says La Jolla Cove odor fix to be in place by Memorial Day, Seal Cam to remain beyond pupping season
By Pat Sherman
During his monthly media roundtable on May 9, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner told the La Jolla Light the city will institute a temporary remedy to the longstanding odor problem at La Jolla Cove within the coming weeks — a pledge first announced during the previous day’s meeting of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA).
The long-delayed stench that permeates the Village on warm days is caused by cormorant and sea lion excrement on the rocks above La Jolla Cove.
“We have someone who’s an expert at vacuuming this stuff up who we’re going to hire,” Filner said. “We hope we can do it by Memorial Day.
“I had been threatening various bureaucracies that I was just going to go clean it up, no matter what permits and stuff are necessary, (but) we think we have all the necessary permits lined up, both from (state) water and air (regulatory agencies) and NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration),” he said. “So I don’t have to go up there with my little Hoover vacuum cleaner and do it — which I was prepared to do.”
LJVMA President Phil Coller said he met with both Filner and state Senator Marty Block (D-39) last week to discuss the issue, during which Filner promised to have the problem solved by Memorial Day.
Coller said the mayor promised a more permanent solution would follow the proposed Memorial Day fix. Block also offered to assist the mayor in assuring a longstanding remedy for the reek.
“Whether he’s able to pull it off, we’ll see,” Coller said, noting that he couldn’t divulge the details of the proposal, though said they seemed “sensible.”
Filner also said he was uncertain about specific details of the vacuuming proposal — first mentioned months ago in an e-mail from the office of District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner.
“We’ve just got to get it off of our rocks,” Filner said. “This is something that shouldn’t exist. … It’s a real problem for the merchants and the residents there.”
Seal surveillance stays
Filner also told the Light that the Seal Cam will likely remain in place beyond the harbor seals’ pupping season, which ends Wednesday, May 15.
However, the camera would have to be moved from its current location, atop the old lifeguard tower, which is slated for demolition in mid-June to make way for a new tower.
“We’re looking for a location right now so that it can continue in operation,” Filner said. “I’m not sure that we can, but I hope we can. I hope it won’t stop on May 15 — although it’s just a technical problem. We’ll figure it out.”
The city is scheduled to take over operation of the Seal Cam from the nonprofit Western Alliance for Nature in the near future. Live feed of the seals can be viewed round the clock on the city’s website.
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- UPDATED (Jan. 25): Webcam to monitor seals installed at La Jolla Children’s Pool
- Mayor extends length of pupping season rope at La Jolla Children’s Pool
- City says no to stench ‘cleanser’ at La Jolla Cove
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