Foul poop smell returns to La Jolla Cove: City blames larger sea lion population

SAN DIEGO - There is a new funk lingering over La Jolla Cove: Sea lion poop.

10News reporter Marie Coronel noticed it during a live report on Sunday. 10News reporter Joe Little went back Tuesday to take a whiff.

It smells in La Jolla Cove. City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department spokesman Bill Harris told 10News the city is well aware of the problem.

So are the pedestrians out for a stroll along the cove.

"I kind of feel nauseous right now," said Mission Valley resident Jason Giavara, who was on a walk with his girlfriend. "This is rough."

Harris told 10News a surge in the sea lion population is the main problem. The animals are leaving what he called "a slurry of digest bait fish" on the shore.

A recent cleanup of the La Jolla Cove cliffs targeted accumulated bird poop. That cost San Diego $50,000. However, the mixture used to clean the bird poop is not strong enough to handle the sea lion waste.

Harris asked 10News to consider that a bird weighs barely a couple of pounds. A sea lion can weigh upwards of 600 pounds.

Harris said the city is actively working with the local community and businesses on a "robust long-term plan" to get rid of the stench. He said it is a difficult problem to solve because there are a lot of environmental rules and regulations the city has to follow.

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