Drop those bread crumbs!
The San Luis Obispo City Council passed new storm water management regulations at its meeting on April 6, in an attempt to comply with state water standards. In order to improve water quality, the ordinance prohibits people from feeding ducks at local parks, lakes, and creeks.
Officials say duck feces in the water are a significant source of pollution.
Under the ordinance, which passed through the council in a 4-1 motion, citizens can be cited on the spot for tossing crumbs to the ducks.
The ordinance is riddled with problems, however, said councilman and lone opponent Allen Settle. He told New Times that not only is there a lack of available enforcement and proper signage notifying people of the change, but offenders could potentially go to jail.
“I suggested a permissive, not mandatory, enforcement,” Settle said. “There’s absolutely no point in trying to cite grandmothers for feeding ducks with their grandchildren, especially when it’s not clear to everybody the change is in effect.”
City staffers suggested not enforcing the ordinance until people have been properly notified of the change.
“That’s ridiculous,” Settle said. “Why pass an ordinance if we’re not going to enforce it? It makes no sense, and it’s confusing to our citizens.”
Settle also questioned what the ordinance would lead to, such as a ban on backyard bird feeders, for example.
“That’s what’s not clear to me: where this will go, and is it even worth it?” he said. “The birds can fly anywhere they want, and you can’t put diapers on a bird. It's just absurd.”