By Kristina Pritchett

Orange County officials said a nuisance bird abatement program has been implemented at Salt Creek Beach, but it is too soon to know how effective the program is.

At the end of July, the City Council approved the use of a falconer at the Salt Creek outlet to help with the bird population and aid in the low water quality. The outlet is located north of Salt Creek Beach and south of Monarch Beach.

The resolution came after a nonprofit environmental organization listed the beach as a “beach bummer,” giving the water quality an “F” grade due to environmental contamination. The city stated, however, that the low water quality grade was due to testing the site being moved, in addition to the bird population in the area.

The site is home to the Salt Creek Ozone Treatment Facility that treats dry weather runoff. The facility treats the water before it returns it to the ocean, but before the water reaches the ocean, it hits the scour pond. The scour pond is where the testing is now being done.

The county started the pilot program in July and said it would last approximately three months and be extended if successful.

County officials said because the program was recently initiated, they do not have any water quality information to report, but they will continue to monitor the program’s effectiveness over time.

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