(WSB file photo of Fauntleroy Cove, looking toward Lincoln Park)
The infamous Fauntleroy “stench” is back, reports Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Community Association:
Since the early 1980s, rotting sea lettuce in Fauntleroy Cove has generated hydrogen sulfide gas (aka “the stench”) in the heat of summer. It inexplicably stopped about nine years ago and residents and visitors could breathe easy. Now, even after weeks of relatively cool weather, it’s back.
With hot days ahead, the following advice is offered to newcomers and long-term residents wanting to enjoy summer despite the stench:
– Keep a tide table handy or bookmark a table online so you can anticipate when low tide will be; sea lettuce emits the gas when low tide leaves it stranded on the beach.
– Close all windows and skylights when you first notice the acrid smell.
– Stay indoors until the air seems fresh again.
– Use a fan to blow out your bedroom before sleeping; the invisible gas is heavy and needs a push.
– Leave home for awhile if the smell is especially strong.
Remember: It’s not simply the smell of saltwater. It’s a noxious gas that can cause itchy eyes, headache, and nausea.