The Five-Step Regulatory Guide to Converting a World-Class Beach Town into a Pile of Shit

Step 1: Be a lovely California seaside town with gorgeous bluffs and rocks that everybody (this author included) loves walking and sitting on.


The white stuff ain't snow

Step 1: Be a lovely California seaside town with gorgeous bluffs and rocks that everybody (this author included) loves walking and sitting on.

Step 2: Ban people from walking and sitting on the bluffside rocks, "partly because of safety concerns."

Step 3: Discover that when you remove the presence of humans, those bluffside rocks swell up with sea gulls and cormorants, and predictably begin to smell like like shit.

Step 4: Discover that hosing down the guano is verboten because of state environmental regulations, to the extent that "multiple state regulatory agencies would have to issue permits before the [cleaning] agents could be used, a process that regulators have indicated would probably take at least two years."

That's what color the rocks used to be

Step 5: Enjoy the smell of regulatory success! As the New York Times describes it:

Everyone agrees that it is worst in the hot summer months. Even on a cool November day, though, the smell was noticeable inside ocean-facing rooms at local hotels and half a mile inland in the commercial center. […]

Ms. Long from Tennessee, covering her nose with a scarf as she walked around the cove, said she would not eat at any of the restaurants right on the water or stay in the hotels there (and next time, she plans to park her car more strategically, away from the rocks where the birds and seals congregate).

But don't worry, La Jolla's fate is in the trusty hands of historically (and musically) illiterate environmental regulators!

"We need to consider a range of alternatives for cleaning the rocks, and one of those could be no project, just sit and wait for rain," said Kanani Brown, an analyst for the California Coastal Commission, one of the regulatory agencies. "I know that's not ideal for local businesses, but that's historically been the approach."

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  1. I just love when shit like this happens. Especially in Cali.

    1. Also, #1! On your ROCKS!

      1. Birds do #1 and #2 simultaneously.

        1. So would it be fair to call La Jolla California’s cloaca?

    2. Two years and multiple agencies to determine if you can wash bird shit off of beach rocks? No wonder the state is broke.

      Here’s my personal favorite, from about 10 years ago. A stop sign in Tilden Park in Berkeley was knocked down in an accident. It was just a standard sign on a metal pole, stuck into a lump of concrete. The paper reported that it would be replaced after the completion of the environmental impact statement.

  2. God forbid someone repeal the ban on walking and sitting on the bluffs.
    Not that anyone would want to anymore.

    1. Repeal? What does that mean? Is that, like, when someone in government admits to making an error? Error? What does that mean?

      1. Seriously, you know the only answer to a problem caused by government regulation is MOAR government regulation.

        1. Yes, we must ban Birds and Seals from walking on the rocks.

          1. For their safety, of course.

    2. It’s a slippery slope…

  3. I used to live and surf in La Jolla. The pelican shit doesn’t even begin to compare with the seal shit. Add to that, the Children’s Pool area, which was constructed to keep the waves from breaking all over your younguns, is overrun with seals that will bite. Of course, they’re protected, so they can’t run them off from a man-made structure.

    1. I hope they realize that those seals will soon start attracting predatory animals. That’s why Great White Sharks are starting to hang out around Cape Cod.

  4. I am almost surprised this bunch hasn’t banned rain since the net effect of it hitting the rocks will be the same as man-used materials spraying off the shit.

    If CA did not exist, we would have to make it up for the lulz. Problem is, no one would believe it.

    1. Rain is pretty much effectively banned in this part of California, only about 12 in. a year on average.

      1. It actually rains a lot on La Jolla / San Diego. Not as much as it rains in Seattle of course, but it does rain.

    2. High pressure hoses have a slightly different effect than rain.

  5. Environmentalism is a religion. Smell the shit sinners!

  6. This is obviously a health hazard. Those people will have to be relocated.

    1. Multimillion dollar homes and businesses condemned – that would be kinda sweet.

  7. I know that’s not ideal for local businesses…

    “And I don’t care.”

  8. A generation ago, La Jolla ‘s ‘ecopark” bristled with signs warning of heavy peanalties for bothering the indigenous vegetation.

    The trouble was that all you could see from the entrance was Australian eucalypts Argentine pampas grass and Spanish oaks to Chinese cedars and proteas from the Cape of Good Hope.

  9. Well, maybe some enterprising entrepreneur will go into the guano business. That stuff is expensive. But I suppose being in California pretty much precludes starting a successful small business which doesn’t involve growing weed.

    1. Zeb| 11.26.12 @ 11:10AM |#

      Well, maybe some enterprising entrepreneur will go into the guano business.

      The profit motive only destroys nature, which is why it must be discouraged.

  10. Rain would indeed take care of this. But we’re in the middle of a dry spell, which is why this is a problem this year, and wasn’t a problem last year. Hosing the rocks off would work too, and you have a while ocean of water to wash them with.

    But this is San Diego, a city that was not allowed to build a desalinization plant because dumping the leftover salt into the ocean was considered polluting.

    1. Why couldn’t they just sell it as sea salt? Evil profit motive?

  11. Do you believe that shit?

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