Millions of Dead Fish Collect in Redondo Beach Harbor

"Redondo Beach awoke Tuesday to find a carpet of death laid atop the water, as if Davy Jones himself had burped up a couple hundred years worth of lunches. Thousands of silvery sardines floated atop the King Harbor marina fin-to-fin, with hundreds of thousands more, perhaps millions, piled on the coppery bottom, 18 inches deep in some spots.

If this was a natural event, as officials say it was, Mother Nature did not show her best face.

The Southern California coast, and Los Angeles County harbors in particular, have suffered from time to time from poor water quality and chemical intrusions. This, officials said, was not one of those instances. That didn't make it any less icky — and the cleanup could take days or even weeks, and could soon pack an odiferous punch.

'At some point, they will float up to the surface and it's not going to be pleasant,' said Larry Derr, head of bait operations at the harbor."

Scott Gold, Nate Jackson, and Kenneth R. Weiss report for the Los Angeles Times March 9, 2011.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011