News Release

March 11, 2014

Draft Mosquito Management Plans for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Available for Public Review and Comment

Media Contacts:
Megan Nagel, 503-231-6123, megan_nagel@fws.gov

Bandon, Ore. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the public to review and comment on the proposed Integrated Marsh Management approach at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.  The public review and comment period will begin on March 11, 2014 and end on April 9, 2014.

The actions proposed in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Tidal Marsh Restoration will reduce mosquito breeding pools by improving tidal flow on the Ni-les’tun Unit of the refuge. The Draft Environmental Assessment for Mosquito Control for Bandon Marsh Refuge proposes utilizing larvicides, when necessary, to reduce larval mosquito populations on the Ni-les’tun Unit.

“Using habitat modification to greatly reduce mosquito breeding habitat is the primary and long-term approach for managing mosquitoes at the refuge,” said Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “The Service is also proposing a short-term strategy to control mosquitos that includes the application of larvicide, which prevents mosquito larvae from becoming flying adults and has minimal negative environmental effects.”

In addition to reducing the amount of mosquito breeding area, the Integrated Marsh Management approach will improve the tidally driven hydrology of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the refuge, benefiting wildlife including migratory ducks and shorebirds and anadromous fish such as juvenile coho salmon. The plan calls for increasing the amount of tidal channels in the marsh, which will allow for better tidal flushing. Tidal flushing happens with high tide each day and refreshes the saltwater in the marsh.  Mosquito larvae require stagnant pools to complete their development, so increased tidal flushing will prevent the mosquito larvae from becoming flying adults.

“The Service is committed to continuing to work with the Coos County Public Health Department, Coos County Commissioners, members of Congress, and experts in the field of mosquito control to develop and implement the Integrated Marsh Management approach for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge,” said Lowe.

The Service is inviting the public to attend an open house where you can ask questions and learn more about the Integrated Marsh Management approach. The open house will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at The Barn: Bandon’s Conference and Community Center, 1200 W. 11th St., SW, Bandon, Oregon, 97411. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and Coos County representatives will be available to answer questions anytime between 4:00 and 7:00 PM.

The draft EAs are available for download on the refuge website www.fws.gov/oregoncoast. Copies are also available in the reference sections of the public libraries in Bandon, Coquille, Coos Bay and North Bend. Printed copies can be obtained from the refuge by sending an email request to oregoncoast@fws.gov or calling (541) 867-4550. Comments can be mailed, faxed or emailed by April 9, 2014 to: Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 S.E. Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365-5258; fax number (541) 867-4551; or e-mail oregoncoast@fws.gov. For more information please call the refuge office at 541-867-4550. The Service will evaluate and respond to the comments received in revised EAs and inform the public of our decision.

For more information on mosquitoes on the refuge, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html

Coos County Public Health: http://www.co.coos.or.us/Departments/PublicHealth.aspx

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.