Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Why are dead ducks piling up in Orange County?

While the city of West Hollywood begins the step to ban the sale of fur, dead ducks are piling up in Orange County. Meanwhile, police are investigating an industrious Ventura County homeowner who bulldozed a protected sand dune in front of his or her house. Welcome to your Wednesday morning greens.

Dozens of dead ducks have been found in Orange County, and official are blaming bird feeders. LAist writes “More than 30 dead mallard ducks have been discovered in Lake Forest ponds and lakes, notably in and around the Village Pond Park and the Forest Gardens Mobile Home Park. Despite signage instructing residents and visitors to not feed the birds, the ducks are consuming bread provided by the hands of ignorant humans.” The bread tossed into lakes supports the growth of botulism, which is incited by high temperatures and algae counts.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar fights Republicans over the San Joaquin River restoration. The GOP claims area mandates are hurting businesses. As The Los Angeles Times reports, among the laws under attack by Republicans are ones to “increase water deliveries to Central Valley farmers, eliminate long-standing reforms to federal irrigation contracts and repeal a legal settlement that calls for increased flows and the restoration of salmon runs on the San Joaquin River.”

Police are looking for the resident who moved a sand dune in front of his or her home in Ventura County. ABC 7 reports that while the sandy area is part of a protected habitat, residents complain that they are being over-run with sand. Unauthorized vehicles are not permitted on the beach. State officials are currently trying to find the resident who performed the illegal sand moving.

The city of West Hollywood may soon ban the sale of furs. As NBC LA reports, on Tuesday the West Hollywood City Council voted 5-0 to support a ban on fur sales. Business owners fear it will drive business away, while anti-fur advocates emphasize the suffering of animals.  A final vote will take place in two weeks. 

Four people are dead in a cantaloupe listeria outbreak. “The CDC said that 35 people in 10 states have been sickened in the outbreak so far. The illnesses are in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia,” reports The listeria has been traced to Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado.

Image: manjithkaini/Flickr