Bandon Marsh
With the help of organic farmers, cranberry growers, beekeepers, and concerned citizens, the Xerces Society successfully prevented a plan to spray the insecticide Dibrom over 10,000 acres of homes, forests, and recreation land. Dibrom is highly toxic to a variety of beneficial insects including bees and butterflies. It is also toxic to birds and fish that use the refuge, and is considered toxic to humans.

The misguided plan was an attempt to control salt march mosquitoes originating at the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. A recent tidal marsh restoration project at the refuge led to an increase in mosquitoes and subsequently, complaints from citizens living nearby.

Under pressure from Bandon City Council and Coos County commissioners, the refuge decided to declare an "emergency" and dodge environmental review requirements, despite the fact that the Coos County Health Department determined there was no public health risk.

Xerces Society scientists first wrote to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) demanding that the plan be stopped. Xerces staff then worked to empower local citizens to organize opposition to the spraying and rally community members to attend a town hall-style public meeting held by Coos County. Xerces actions were successful in catalyzing local opposition to the spraying and the town hall meeting was packed with residents, three quarters of whom opposed the spraying plan. Two days later Coos County commissioners canceled the aerial spraying in response.

Our task is not finished, however. Although the aerial spraying was stopped, 300 acres of the refuge was treated with MetaLarv, a granular insecticide that is highly toxic to a variety of aquatic life. We will continue to push the USFWS and Coos County to develop a scientifically sound Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan to manage mosquitoes at the marsh. An IPM-based plan treating only those areas in which mosquitoes breed will provide effective control of the mosquitoes, provide relief to local residents, and give wildlife the refuge they deserve.

For more information about our efforts to protect Bandon Marsh and promote better mosquito management:

Dennis Paulson's eastern and western dragonfly field guides are both available in our store.

Visit our pesticide web page for information on pesticides and  invertebrates, including our report, Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management in Wetlands.
Become an annual or monthly donor to receive your copy of the latest edition of our member magazine Wings.
Please email with any membership questions. 
Check out our events web page for details on Xerces events in the following cities:

  - Petaluma, CA
  - Kingston, RI
  - Lafayette, CO
  - Fort Collins, CO
  - Denver, CO
  - Port Rowan, Ontario, CANADA
  - Coffeeville, MS
  - Newton, MS
Photo Credit: Restored tidal marsh at Bandon Marsh NWR. Photo by David Pitkin/USFWS.

The Xerces Society 628 NE Broadway, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97232 USA tel 855.232.6639

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