Residents of Oregon’s South Coast are calling for the federal government to eradicate the swarms of mosquitoes breeding in the recently expanded Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
Two years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent millions of dollars restoring parts of the Bandon Marsh, which had previously been diked and used for grazing land.
The project created 400 acres of new habitat for young salmon and shorebirds. But it also created more breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Bandon Mayor Mary Schamehorn says since June, hordes of salt-marsh mosquitoes have been tormenting visitors to the nearby state park and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. On Monday city residents filled the room at a city council meeting on the issue.
“People told us they’re held hostage in their homes. They can’t go outside. They can’t grill. They can’t go work on their flowers,” she said. “It’s a very serious problem.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is working on the problem. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio says he’s been asking the agency to act since May, yet the onslaught of mosquitoes continues.