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Mosquito Treatment Plan To Move Forward
Coos County officials, in consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service and mosquito control experts, have developed a proposed treatment plan for the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding area. Coos County commissioners will consider the plan for approval this week.
The Service will provide the funding for the application of a larvacide, MetaLarv, which prevents larval mosquitos from growing into adults, and an adulticide, Dibrome, which targets flying, adult mosquitos, to refuge lands.
“The Coos County Commissioners would like to thank Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden, Representative DeFazio, the City of Bandon, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bandon Dunes Golf Course and all community partners for working together to develop a solution,” said Commissioner John Sweet. “Funding, with contributions from Fish and Wildlife Service, is coming together and should not hold up the treatment for mosquitoes.”
In the spring of 2013, refuge manager David Ledig initiated a mosquito monitoring program, with Oregon State University entomologists, which identified an unusually high number of mosquitoes and their larvae on the refuge. The unusually high number of mosquitoes prompted a health advisory from Coos County officials on August 24th. Based on the Coos County public health action, and the science information gathered over the preceding months, Oregon Coast NWR Complex Project Leader Roy Lowe declared a health emergency on Bandon Marsh NWR due to the excessive production of mosquitoes that is affecting the health and safety of local residents and visitors in the vicinity of the refuge. This declaration opened the door for immediate treatment on refuge lands. Such monitoring and treatment would normally be accomplished by a Mosquito Abatement District, which Coos County does not have.
In addition to the immediate short-term abatement plan for mosquitoes on the refuge, a long-term Integrated Marsh Management Plan will be expedited. The long-term plan will involve habitat manipulation to create small tidal channels to eliminate ponding in the restored marsh area. This will allow for natural tidal flushing and draining of the ponded areas which will increase tidal marsh productivity and eliminating mosquito breeding habitat. Refuge staff will continue to work with the community as they develop a long-term, habitat focused abatement plan for the refuge.