The public is very concerned about the mosquito population being increased by the Cullen Park and Grassy Island wetlands. These are very real and legitimate concerns.
Damaged or degraded wetlands can provide ideal habitat for some mosquito species that carry West Nile virus. Excess nutrients in contaminated waters can spur microbial growth and cause harmful algal blooms, which feed mosquito larvae. Filling or draining wetlands may also increase mosquito outbreaks, as an altered landscape with stagnant pools of water may no longer contain mosquito predators.”
Wetlands, Mosquitos, and West Nile Virus by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
MOSQUITOES HAVE NUMEROUS IMPACTS ON SOCIETY:
- negative impacts on quality of life
- cancellation or postponement of outdoor recreation
- repeated application of mosquito repellent
- getting mosquito bites during typical outdoor activities
- limiting community activities
North American Wetlands and Mosquito Control, Jorge R. Rey, William E. Walton, et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,
MOSQUITOES CARRY DISEASE
Mosquito-borne diseases that may occur locally in Ohio include:
DEFENSES TO MOSQUITOES ARE NOT FEASIBLE AT THE WETLAND SITES.
In Toledo, mosquito control is performed by the Toledo Area Sanitation Department. The TASD provides instruction for defending against mosquitoes:
“The best way to defend yourself against mosquitoes is to try and avoid mosquito-infested areas or stay indoors when mosquitoes are active during the peak biting times of dawn and dusk. . . . If you are outside during times of the day when mosquitoes are active, following these tips can help reduce your chances of being bitten:
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
- Wear light-colored clothing, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Avoid excessive physical exertion.
- Use colognes and perfumes sparingly.
- Use mosquito repellent“
For more information on defending against mosquitos click here.
The Cullen Park and Grassy Island wetlands will be located in areas of aquatic recreation with full body contact. Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants is not practical, insect repellent will wash off, and most aquatic sports require physical exertion. In short, it is not feasible to defend against mosquitoes at the wetland sites.
RESPONSES TO THE PUBLIC’S CONCERN ABOUT MOSQUITOES ARE UNSUPPORTABLE.
The public voiced its concerns about mosquitoes at the public meetings held by the ODNR and the Port Authority. The response was:
NATURAL MOSQUITO PREDATORS WILL NOT CONTROL THE MOSQUITO POPULATION
If wetlands always attracted mosquito predators in sufficient numbers to control the mosquitoes, wetlands would not be so closely associated with mosqitoes. Methods must be employed to attract and retain predators. Two of them are:
- reducing “nutrient-loading and sedimentation problems by installing perimeter fences to keep cattle or other livestock from entering the wetland” and
- constructing “a buffer between the adjacent land and the wetland to filter nutrients and sediments.”
Wetlands, Mosquitos, and West Nile Virus Natural Resources Conservation Service
The nutrient-loading and sedimentation caused by cattle and other livestock cannot be reduced because the purpose of these wetlands it to collect these things. A buffer cannot be constructed between these wetlands and the adjacent land to filter the nutrients because these wetlands are the filters. The purpose of these wetlands is to do the exact opposite of what is recommended to attract mosquito predators. Based on this, one would expect these wetlands will not attract predators; rather, they will repel attract them.
THE WETLANDS WILL NOT BE TOO FAR FROM THE MAINLAND FOR MOSQUITOES TO BE A PROBLEM.
The Cullen Park wetland had not been redesigned when this statement was made. It was not a correct statement then and it is even less so now. All one has to do is look at the design to see that the Cullen Park wetland will not be far from the mainland, it will be adjacent to it.
It is irrefutable that the public’s concerns about mosquitoes are very real and legitimate concerns.