Mayor Filner has plan to end bird stench in La Jolla - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mayor Filner has plan to end bird stench in La Jolla

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LA JOLLA (CNS) - A private company will begin assessing the hazardous conditions near La Jolla Cove caused by accumulated bird guano and its overwhelming stench this weekend, and planned to apply a product to neutralize the stench in a portion of the affected area on Tuesday, it was announced.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner on Friday declared the accumulating cormorant, pigeon, gull, pelican and other animal waste to be a public health hazard, and said a plan to implement a solution to the odor emanating from the top of the cliffs east of La Jolla Cove was underway.

City officials said the plan involved essentially neutralizing the chemicals and organisms that were causing the smell, and called for safety measures to protect both workers and the area's animal life.

"We finally have a plan that we think may work," Filner said. "And that's good because I was about to go get a bucket and mop, or a big vacuum cleaner and do it myself."

Filner issued an emergency finding under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to get the cleanup started. City officials entered into an agreement with the Blue Eagle company, which manufactures "Blue Eagle Bio-Active Microbial Odor Counteractant and Cleaner" that had been used to curtail similarly odorous situations in Sacramento and at the Colorado Springs Zoo, authorities said.

The product uses non-pathogenic bacteria to "digest" the poop and the noxious organisms it contains, city officials said.

"La Jolla has always celebrated its connection to the ocean and the wildlife that brings tourists and residents to its shoreline. But this problem was just too much to endure," said Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who also worked to clear a path toward a solution.

Blue Eagle will assess conditions at the site over the weekend, and will begin its cleanup efforts Tuesday. The crew planned to apply the product in small amounts to the buildup under the supervision of a biologist and a geologist, city officials said.

Work will begin in the central portion of the affected area Tuesday, and the crew will test multiple low-volume applications before a regular work schedule begins next month, officials said.

Visitors will be directed to move quickly past work areas to help minimize the disturbance to wildlife and allow crews to focus, officials said. No impact to traffic was expected and only a limited number of parking spaces would be reserved.

City officials said they would post explanatory signage and would have staff available to answer questions.

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