City of San Diego hires Blue Eagle to remove bird poop from La Jolla Cove

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The removal of smelly bird droppings that have accumulated on rocks over the years at La Jolla Cove got under way Monday.

A company called Blue Eagle, which has performed similar services in Oceanside, started spraying a foamy organic material that is expected to eat through the manure.

Residents have been complaining about the odor for about a year, but the city had to fight through bureaucratic red tape to do anything about it, according to Mayor Bob Filner. The mayor eventually declared the poop an economic, health and safety emergency, which led to testing in a small area last month.

"People can't have lunch here. It is an economic emergency and it is a safety emergency," Filner said.

"It does smell awfully bad," said San Diegan John Gillick.

"We did do the pilot treatment over on the slope specifically for that reason, to see how it would work over there," Keith Merkel, a marine biologist overseeing the removal, told 10News. "And so it was treated on areas that were up high and dry, and those areas worked very well."

The company will spray for about 10 days, evaluate the results, and then likely return to finish the job in late July, according to the station.

The clean-up will cost $50,000 per application. Filner said he is looking for a more permanent solution.

The company has had great success in removing poop from the parking lots at Oceanside Harbor, but have yet to tackle a project as large as cleaning the rocks in La Jolla.

The company is also dealing with the nesting season for the birds. They must not disturb any nests.

Blue Eagle will return in July to finish removing the waste.

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