On Jan. 27, 20,000 gallons of raw sewage from the California Men's Colony spilled into Chorro Creek and ended up in the Morro Bay Estuary, according to the San Luis Obispo County Health Department.
Because of the human waste polluting the bay, the health department has implemented a quarantine for all sport-harvested bi-valve shellfish from the estuary. The quarantine applies to all mussels, clams, and scallops and will be in effect for the next two to three weeks.
Despite the crappy conditions, one local commercial fisherman said that the recent sewage spill isn't a big deal for his business.
"Sport harvesting of shellfish in Morro Bay is a non-issue because the otters have decimated the muscles and clams," said Mark Tognazzini, lifelong Morro Bay resident and owner of Dockside Restaurant. "It's the truth. I was born here and I watched what the otters have done."
Problems similar to the recent sewage release have plagued the prison for years. In an effort to help ensure fewer spills, the facility's sewage treatment center was recently improved.
"This has happened in the past," Richard Lichtenfels, county environmental health specialist, said of the sewage spills. "But it wasn't expected, because they spent multi-millions of dollars to upgrade their system."
According to Lichtenfels, the spill occurred when there was a glitch in the power and the back-up generator didn't work.
Representatives from the California Men's Colony were unable to be reached by deadline.
On the whole, storm runoff prompted health advisories on beaches up and down the coast.