Coos County cancels aerial spraying of 10,000 acres

September 11, 2013


Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director; (503) 449-3793,
Celeste Mazzacano, Aquatic Conservation Director; (503) 490-0389,

Coos County cancels aerial spraying of 10,000 acres

The Xerces Society applauds Coos County commissioners for canceling proposed aerial spraying of 10,000 acres around Bandon Marsh NWR. Concerns remain over treatment of the marsh itself.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Xerces Society applauds Coos County commissioners for listening to local opinion and deciding to cancel a large part of the mosquito spraying plan. Aerial spraying of the adulticide Dibrom will not be done around the city of Bandon or Bandon Marsh NWR. However, treatment of 300 acres of the marsh itself with a larvicide will be done.

“Overall, it is extremely good news that Coos County has halted spraying the worst pesticide over the largest acreage,” said Xerces Society Executive Director Scott Hoffman Black. “Unfortunately, the treatment of the marsh will still harm wildlife, is counter to good Integrated Pest Management practices, and has not allowed for public comment under the National Environmental Policy Act.”

The larvicide to be used on the Refuge, MetaLarv, interferes with the development of all aquatic insects, not just mosquitoes, is highly toxic to crustaceans including crabs, shrimp, and crayfish, and is toxic to fish, including federally listed salmon.

There are alternatives to widespread treatment with this broad-spectrum pesticide that would provide effective mosquito control and be better for the environment. Xerces’ recent report, Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management in Wetlands, offers a comprehensive guide to managing mosquitos. The guidelines were developed after a review of over 400 scientific papers and investigation of successful municipal mosquito-management programs. Mosquito management is best achieved following tenets set forth by the Centers for Disease Control: education, personal protection, and scouting for “hotspots” where large numbers of mosquitoes are being produced and treating them using the least toxic product.

“We appreciate Coos County commissioners’ responsiveness to the strongly expressed local opposition,” said Celeste Mazzacano, Aquatic Conservation Director for the Xerces Society, “and we look forward to working with the county and FWS to develop a better targeted control program that is less harmful to Bandon Marsh.”


For more information:

Press release (9/10/13) highlighting local opposition to the Bandon Marsh NWR spraying plan

Press release (9/9/13) summarizing the legal and ecological issues with the Bandon Marsh NWR spraying plan

Xerces Society letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (9/3/13)

Press release (9/3/13) outlining concerns with the Bandon Marsh NWR spraying plan

Letters to the Editor of the Bandon Western World newspaper expressing concern about the spraying proposal

Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management in Wetlands report

The Xerces Society • 628 NE Broadway Ste 200, Portland OR 97232 USA • tel 855.232.6639 • fax 503.233.6794 •
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