It’s time to trash our marshes again:
Suffolk County has had a decades long program of spraying for mosquitoes around our marshes. We still have a lot of mosquitoes, and a lot of dying marshes. When you take out a key element of the food chain — mosquito larvae — there are consequences for fish, insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, whole habitats. When those insecticides also kill dragon flies, a natural predator of mosquitoes along with butterflies and bees, you have to ask why we continue to attack our marshes. When there is also evidence that methoprene also affects arthropods — crabs and lobsters — then why are we still spraying?
Here is what Kevin McAllister of DefendH2O had to say about Vector Spraying, an issue he has been passionately pursuing for over a decade:
It turns out, this ‘vector spraying’ is really ‘nuisance spraying’: The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are fresh water and weak fliers. Typically, they won’t range further than 80 feet from where they spawned, that is, in your gutters, bird baths, puddles on your property. Has Suffolk County made any public effort to inform us as to the true orgins of West Nile so that we can better protect ourselves? If West Nile is the problem they claim it is, why is the county spending all its time and effort and funds killing mosquitoes in salt water marshes, mosquitoes that DONT CARRY WEST NILE?
Our marshes of course are sprayed because those constituents living near the marshes complain that they are being bitten up, with the politicians even calling on their behalf. In other words, our public officials continue to bow to public pressure where everyone pretends its about public safety. Meanwhile, methoprene is raining from the sky. Connecticut banned it out of concern for its effect on crabs and lobsters. On Long Island, it’s still legal. Good at killing mosquitoes, and apparently other things as well.
Are we serious about building a sustainable Long Island, about healing our waters? Then why would we allow this practice to continue? In trying to win this war on mosquitoes, we are destroying our marshes. We need to be smarter than this.
What needs to happen is that people who live in the area where the county does spray need to contact the county and demand that none of this spray gets on their property.
Here’s a live map of the first place on the list to spray — Sore Thumb. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE THE INTERACTIVE MAP:
And here’s Idle Hour:
Please Contact Us with any request to create web based map for your marsh, if listed above.
Contact Suffolk County today:
- Suffolk County Division of Vector Control 631-852-4270
- Vector Control and Wetlands Management Long-Term Plan
Tell them that our marshes, the fish, frogs, and bugs, the crabs, are worth people having to swat at a mosquito, that maybe bat boxes and dragonflies and fish fry would work better than what we have tried for decades. A healthy marsh is the best defense against mosquitoes, and our policy has been to spray insecticides. All we have to show for this endless war on bugs are degraded marshes. Let’s work with nature now. We’ve killed their predators. Lets bring them back!