with inquiries or questions:
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Pacific Region
911 NE 11th Ave Portland, Oregon 97232
Office: (503) 231-6123
Status on 11/19/2013
An errata sheet documenting corrections to the November 2013 Environmental Assessment entitled "MetaLarv S-PT Treatment on the Ni-les'tun Unit of Bandon Marsh NWR" is available for download here (26 KB PDF).
Status on 11/8/2013
The post-treatment NEPA compliance documentation for the September 12, 2013 MetaLarv S-PT Treatment on the Ni-les'tun Unit of Bandon Marsh NWR is available for download here (3.7 MB PDF).
Status on 9/12/2013
A single-engine fixed wing aircraft applied MetaLarv S-PT at 4.0 lbs/acre to 292 acres of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Refuge. The application was conducted under a contract between Coos County and Vector Disease Control International.
Status on 8/30/2013
Coos County Public Health officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in consultation with refuge biologists and mosquito control experts, have developed an emergency short-term mosquito abatement plan for the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The Service will be providing funding for the application of a larvacide, which prevents larval mosquitoes from maturing into adults, and an adulticide, which targets flying, adult mosquitoes, to refuge lands to lessen the impacts to Refuge visitors, the public and adjacent landowners. The recent explosion of mosquito numbers in and around the Bandon Marsh has resulted in an urgent need to implement measures that will control the current situation and mitigate future mosquito explosions. On August 24, Coos County Public Health issued a Health Advisory for excessive mosquito numbers and associated health impacts to residents. On August 26, USFWS Project Leader Roy Lowe declared an emergency on Bandon Marsh NWR, and issued a Special Use Permit to the Coos County Public Health Department for mosquito abatement on refuge lands. This Emergency Declaration and Special Use Permit allows application of select adulticide and larvicide on refuge lands. On August 30, Coos County Public Health issued a Draft “Proposal for Mosquito Control on the Bandon Marsh Refuge and Surrounding Area” and is actively seeking cost estimates from vector-control businesses to address the immediate mosquito problem this year. USFWS is working with experts to develop a long-term solution that includes an Integrated Marsh Management Plan that will incorporate mosquito control.
August 30, 2013: Coos County and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mosquito Treatment Plan to Move Forward at Bandon Marsh
July 3, 2013: Bandon Marsh Refuge partners with experts in mosquito study
For information on MetaLarv visit: http://www.valentbiosciences.com/products/metalarv
Pre tidal marsh restoration – Mosquitoes have always been present in the lower Coquille Estuary and Bullards Beach State Park areas but in unremarkable numbers.
2011 early Fall – Bandon Marsh NWR’s Ni-les’tun Unit tidal marsh restoration project completed. A natural tidal regime is re-established in the historic saltmarsh to assist estuary-dependent fish (salmon) and wildlife (migratory birds) for the benefit of the American public.
2012 Summer - Refuge staff received several calls and one letter describing increased mosquito numbers from landowners across the river from the Ni-les’tun Unit. Refuge Staff coordinated with Regional Office regarding USFWS mosquito management policies. USFWS guidance generally limits mosquito surveillance and control activities on refuge lands to those conducted by local county Mosquito Abatement Districts through Special Use Permit.
Fall 2012 – Refuge staff began coordinating with Coos County Public Health concerning the complaints of increased mosquito numbers and investigated whether mosquito-transmitted disease was historically an issue with mosquitoes in Coos County. Refuge staff began detailing funding needs for USFWS-led inventory and monitoring of mosquitoes, which are activities that are normally carried out by local Mosquito Abatement Districts on refuges across the country.
Winter 2012/2013 – USFWS began discussions of mosquito inventory and monitoring needs on the Refuge with Oregon Vector Control Organization and Private Vector Control Managers. Discussions continued with Coos County Public Health concerning inventory and monitoring needs on Refuge lands. USFWS coordinated with Oregon State University (OSU) Entomology and Zoology Departments concerning assistance in inventory and monitoring; however, there are no public health/vector control entomologists on staff.
Spring 2013: USFWS coordinated with Center for Disease Control, Oregon State Health Department, U.S. Geologic Survey Research Branch, and Private Mosquito Research organizations concerning funding for inventory and monitoring. No funding was readily available.
May -Spring high tides (late May) flooded the upper most portions of the marsh on the Ni-les’tun Unit and created pooled shallow waters in depressions caused by subsiding filled agricultural ditches and ruts from equipment used during the restoration effort. Discussions continued with OSU Entomology Program for assistance, and Refuge staff established a working relationship with OSU.
June 5-15 – The first major adult mosquito emergence occurred 10-15 days after the high tide of May 26; Refuge staff received the first complaints from adjacent landowners about large numbers of mosquitoes.
June 27-28 – OSU/USFWS began sampling of adult and larval mosquitoes on Bandon Marsh NWR for species identification. This was coordinated with Multnomah and Benton County Public Health/Vector control programs due to the lack of a local Mosquito Abatement/Vector Control District in Coos County.
July 11-12 - OSU sampled for adult and larval mosquitoes on Ni-les’tun Unit. Larvae numbers were low in most areas on the Ni-les’tun Unit. Pools had dried up from sun and summer winds, and the numbers of adults were observed to be decreasing. Mosquito samples were sent in to experts for identification. The reason for the need to identify mosquito species is that each species requires different habitat conditions to proliferate and expand, and without a clear understanding of the species present, it would not be possible to take effective action to reduce mosquito breeding habitat and thus mosquito numbers.
July 22 week - Multnomah County Public Health Department – Vector Control identified the adult and larval mosquito samples collected on July 11/12. Five species were identified including Culex tarsalis, Culex pipiens, Aedes cinereus and Culisetas particeps. They indicated that by far the most abundant species was Aedes dorsalis, commonly known as the salt marsh mosquito. This species breeds primarily in brackish and saline habitats and under the right conditions breeds in abundance in intertidal marshes. The majority of females live less than 90 days and males rarely live for more than 30 days. This species can fly long distance (reportedly up to 30 miles, which is probably wind aided), and is a vicious biter night and day. Populations left unchecked grow with each generation and under ideal conditions they can produce 8 generation/year.
July 25-26 – OSU/USFWS sampling followed the recent high tide series. Researchers reported finding larvae in great abundance in nearly every shallow ponded depression they encountered. In one location they had 300-400 larvae in a single dip. Another large flyoff of adult mosquitoes was expected this week or next.
August 5 week – Refuge acquired a small moldboard plow to be pulled by a 6-wheel Amphibious ATV in the hopes of connecting some of the low areas to tidal channels to increase water circulation. Refuge staff began to plow small ditches to drain small ponds holding water and determined that the tool had very limited effectiveness on a large scale. The determination was made that a much bigger effort was needed, including engineering, design and use of large equipment.
August 8-9 - OSU continued sampling of adults and larvae. Numbers of mosquito larvae and adults were observed to be decreasing slightly. A formal Cooperative Agreement with OSU Entomology Program was established to continue mosquito work including identifying species and breeding areas.
August 16 – Bandon Marsh Refuge Manager David Ledig met with Dr. Nikki Zogg, Administrator for Coos County Public Health, at the Bandon Marsh Office. Manager Ledig gave Dr. Zogg the history of refuge coordination with the Coos County Health Department over the last year and a half, to ensure that she was aware of USFWS efforts to coordinate with Coos County and to explain how Multnomah County Public Health Department got involved through our work with OSU. He provided her with a list of mosquito species we have documented, that led to a discussion about our restoration effort, the effects of tidal flooding on A. dorsalis, the NWR mosquito Integrated Pest Management policy/process, and USFWS’ current plans to conduct mosquito breeding site reduction through habitat management.
August 19 – City of Bandon passed Resolution 13-21: Demanding Federal Government Action to Abate the Mosquito Problem Caused by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service Development of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
August 20 – Project Leader Roy Lowe attended a Town Hall with Senator Merkley and provided information on the current mosquito situation at Bandon Marsh and the efforts to remedy a solution to the problem.
August 22 – Dr. Nikki Zogg of Coos County Public Health issued a Health Advisory for excessive mosquito numbers and associated health impacts to residents.
August 22 – Refuge and regional staff discussed potential treatment prescriptions to control the mosquito source population for the remainder of this mosquito season. Participants in the discussion included managers and vector control biologists from other National Wildlife Refuges and Mosquito Vector Control Districts, and technical representatives from mosquito treatment providers that are familiar with salt marsh mosquitoes.
August 22-23 - Oregon State University continued sampling of adults and larvae. All five documented species were found in the adult traps and larvae were observed in approximately 50% of the depressions with pooled water.
August 23 – Jackson County Vector Control District (VCD) was contacted by Coos County Public Health about the mosquito situation at Bandon Marsh because Coos County has no vector control district. Based upon a recent request from the City of Bandon and Coos County, Jackson County VCD provided a proposed mosquito control prescription for Bandon Marsh based upon limited information about the mosquito problem; the prescription involved both a larvicide and adulticide treatments.
August 26 – August 26, USFWS Project Leader Roy Lowe declared an emergency on Bandon Marsh NWR due to excessive numbers of mosquitoes, and issued a Special Use Permit (SUP) to the Coos County Public Health Department for mosquito abatement on refuge lands. This SUP allows Coos County to apply select adulticide and larvicide treatments on refuge lands.
August 27 – USFWS Deputy Regional Director Richard Hannan and Public Affairs Officer Megan Nagel of External Affairs attended the Coos County Commissioners meeting in Coquille to answer questions from County Commissioners and the public about the mosquito issue on Bandon Marsh NWR.
August 29 – PL Roy Lowe participated in a live interview on OPB’s Think Out Loud, with Mary Schamehorn (Mayor, City of Bandon).
August 29 – Refuge and Regional staff met at Bandon Marsh NWR with the mosquito control experts and Dr. Nikki Zogg of Coos County public health Department to discuss and assist Coos County in the proposed immediate abatement treatment on the Refuge. Coos County also discussed with the experts their proposed plans to treat off-refuge areas in the vicinity of the refuge.
August 30 - The Coos County Public Health Department released a Draft “Proposal for Mosquito Control on the Bandon Marsh Refuge and Surrounding Area”. The purpose of this plan is to inform the County Commissioners, USFWS, and the public concerning implementation measures that will aid in the control of the current mosquito situation and help reduce future mosquito explosions. Coos County commissioners will consider the plan for approval next week. USFWS is funding the control effort, and Coos County Public Health is seeking cost estimates from vector-control businesses to address the existing mosquito problem. USFWS is working to develop a long-term solution that includes an Integrated Marsh Management Plan that will incorporate mosquito control. Coos County Public Health Department and USFWS also issued a joint news release today to update the public on the situation.