City Officials Turn to the Falcon (But Not the Snowman) to Clean Up Poopy Poche Beach

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We've been telling you for years how polluted Poche Beach is, but after scratching their heads, sniffing their pencils and consulting the stars, San Clemente city officials believe they have come up with a solution to their chronically stinky problem.

Falcons.

The city is paying falconers Adam Chavez and Sammy Holloway $20,000 to have their birds of prey patrol the Poche Beach shoreline through the end of the summer, the Associated Press reports.

Courtesy of NRDC
Poopy Poche
The idea is the pair's seven hawks and falcons will spook seagulls that crap on the beach and in nearby water sources that spill into the ocean there. That is likely the source of elevated bacteria levels that have led to warning signs, beach closures and public shaming by the likes of Heal the Bay and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

See:
Poche Beach, Among Orange County's Stinkiest, Gets Stinkier on July 4 Thanks to Sewage Spill
OC Beaches Again Score Well on Heal the Bay Report Card (with Usual Bummer Suspects)
3 Orange County Beaches are Cleanest of the Clean in U.S. (and 2 are Dirtiest of the Dirty)

A $265,000 city-funded study of the watershed for the small stretch of sand between Dana Point and San Clemente in 2010 concluded the area's avian population treats a freshwater pond at the mouth of Poche Creek like its own private loo.

South County Beach Goes to the Birds

Fortunately for beachgoers, hawks and falcons don't poop.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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