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Sea lion stench: Poop containment not happening quick enough says lawsuit

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The sea lion stench coming from fresh feces festering in the hot San Diego sun on the beautiful coastline is not welcomed smell for area business owners. When it comes to the equation needed for a leisurely meal, the smell of poop seems to sour the appetite. It is also something that the businesses in La Jolla Cove don’t want as part of their customer’s experience when shopping their stores.

According to ABC News on Dec. 27, this is not a new problem, but a problem that local businesses feel they have been faced with for too long. The problem is pushing customers away along with causing a health risk to the public. Left with no other recourse, two local businesses have banned together in a lawsuit against the city of San Diego.

Claiming the city has not acted promptly enough when it comes to finding a solution for the sea lion stench that lasts. The businesses have formed the group, Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement and last week they filed suit in San Diego Superior Court regarding the smell from the sea-lion waste.

While the La Jolla Village Merchants Association has talked about filing a suit, they haven’t move to do so. The La Valencia Hotel and George’s at the Cove formed the group and filed the lawsuit. Random pictures taken of visitors to the area inevitably show a couple of folks holding their nose. This doesn't look very enticing to prospective tourists.

Last year the sea lion population was coupled with the pelicans, cormorants and gulls finding their way to La Jolla Cove with even more waste adding to the problem. The bird stench was detected a mile in from the beach.

The two businesses don’t want money from the city, they simply want a permanent solution to the stench. Other communities along the shoreline have employed different methods to rid the stench and in some cases the sea lions all together from their area.

Methods of blaring horns every hour on the hour to spraying water at the sea lions have detoured the creatures from taking up residence. A low-volt shock delivery system was on the table at one time in the past.

Animal rights groups are clear on their stand that this is a natural habitat for the sea lions and the birds. Now that the group is taking the city to court, maybe some type of solution can be found that is good for both the sea creatures and people. What that may look like is anyone’s guess.



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