Editorial: Election Job No. 1 should be to clean the La Jolla Cove stench


It’s a month shy of a year, since

La Jolla Light

first published reports of community concerns about the noxious odors hovering over the Cove and the Village, caused by the unforgiving, unrelenting sea lion and cormorant excrement on the cliffs along the shore.

Almost one year has passed (some say the situation is nearing a crisis state) and nothing has been done about it.

We’ve watched and listened at meeting after meeting as frustrated merchants, well-meaning community groups, and politicians running for office in next Tuesday’s election put forth solutions and then face roadblocks to the solutions ... while the smelly scourge remains.

Meanwhile, we’ve gotten reports of visitors dissing their trips to La Jolla on travel websites, the faint of heart vomiting at seaside dining tables, and residents driving elsewhere to shop, eat and stroll for exercise.

Quite a flaw in the ol’ Jewel by the Sea.

Proposals are on the table to:


Clean the cliffs as needed with a biodegradable solution (funding and cleanup crew are on standby).


Power wash the cliffs with ocean water itself.


Strategically place giant fans to blow the stench away from the Village.


Attempt to reduce the (growing) sea lion and cormorant colonies.

City officials and commission chiefs have reasons why each proposal is unfeasible and any option would require permits and review by the Coastal Commission and Regional Water Quality Control Board.

In a last-ditch effort to force some action on the predicament, restaurateur George Hauer has started an online petition and the community has signed the declaration, almost 1,000-strong after just one week. Consider adding your name to the list at

We’re hoping it’s the first order of business the next San Diego Mayor and District 1 City Councilperson finds on their desks after the election. We’ll be watching through our gas masks and goggles to see if each one keeps their campaign promise to work for the communities.