locked Re: Garretson Point �Mosquitocide� and Skimmers

Joe Morlan

I suspect that this is the ISP (Invasive Spartina Project) spraying their
favorite long lasting water soluble general herbicide, Imazapyr in an
effort to eradicate hybrid Spartina from Arrowhead Marsh. Arrowhead's
Spartina is apparently indistinguishable from native Spartina (Cord grass)
except by genetic testing which shows that it is a hybrid swarm with
Eastern Spartina. The existence of these hybrid populations says to me that
the two Spartinas are not really different species, but just different
varieties of the same species.

When they first started this project, it cause numbers of the endangered
Ridgway's Rail to decline by about 50% but that didn't stop them. They
continue in this pointless, expensive hair-brained scheme to rid San
Francisco Bay of any remnant of Eastern Spartina.

Furthermore they ignored the planned protocol outlined in the EIR and did
not use a phased approach which would have mitigated rail losses. Instead
they went ahead and eliminated as much non-native Spartina claiming it is

I posted a considerable history of this project on the GGAS-Chat mailing
list, but got dinged for being "disrespectful" to opposing views. I have no
interest in offending anyone and no longer participate in that group. My
understanding is that the GGAS conservation committee wholeheartedly
supports the ISP in spite of the damage it caused to endangered birds.


On Wed, 29 Dec 2021 01:25:24 +0000 (UTC), "Bev via groups.io"
<SLAKEWINGS@...> wrote:

The EBRPD used to spray horrific amounts of poison/herbicides/glyphosate by Arrowhead right up to the water (as well as poisoning the California Ground Squirrels who help bring Burrowing Owls.)  Our Coalition to Defend East Bay Forests kept trying to stop them and they seem to have lessened it but also might be trying to hide it.
(At Del Valle a few years ago, they sprayed from unmarked containers, as well as more openly, right up to the reservoif, and also right when the Magpies and other birds were collecting nesting material in those areas.

If worrying about mosquitos are the issue, they could use the many insect species who live in and on water and eat all mosquito larvae. (Those voracious and beautiful insects are the only methods to keep the UC Botanical Garden pond free of larvae.)

Contacting and questioning them could have an effect. A few of us stopped the planned aerial spraying of Briones park near that reservoir, just to kill one plant. (They had the most bizarre explanations.)

I so wish the birds and environment in the East Bay were protected like those in Marin.
Thank you for letting us know.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...>
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Sent: Tue, Dec 28, 2021 4:40 pm
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Garretson Point “Mosquitocide” and Skimmers

I did a little birding today and the bay trail is always fascinating. My bike had a flat tire by the Garretson Point (by Arrowhead marsh) seasonal vernal pond wetland. As I changed the tire - I watched a swamp buggy pass through a gate and emit several sprays of fluid from the buggy into the pond. Would this be a mosquitocide? If
so, what impact does it have on invertebrates that use the marsh? By the time I had the tire fixed, the buggy was gone and I could not ask questions. This operation seemed odd....

Next stop was Ballerena Bay where a warden for Fish and Game was present. So much going on....

My final stop was a car stop at my Emeryville patch. It was low tide (3 pm) and the flock of black skimmers was present on the mudflats visible with bins looking southeast from the fire station. Several took off and skimmed! Wow! What an amazing patch spectacle and one of my favorite patch birds ever seen here (up to 177 species
now). I have bided this location now for 29 years and am still being surprised! Patch birding is so cool! I hope they stay here and this becomes a seasonal occurrence!

Jim Chiropolos
Emeryville today

Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

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