Trash + Rain = Mosquitoes


by Douglas Hattendorf…….

I’m no biologist or expert (as one man told us at a mosquito meeting — we have no right to speak on such things if we aren’t a biologist or an expert.) However, sometimes it’s just a matter of common sense.

Our shorelines are loaded with plastic buckets, totes, bottles, cups, etc that hold water before they return to the ocean to cause further damage. So, what happens when those items are pushed to the high tide line and then it rains? Well, a good percentage of those containers will breed mosquitos. This is easily verifiable. Indeed, I recall when I was young, collecting horseshoe crabs, they (Mosquito Control) would be on the shores checking for exactly this.

Shores do become littered and many of those upturned containers will become breeding grounds for aedes aegypti as well as aedes albopictus (both carry zika and dengue). [These plastics are also destroying marine life so this needs to be addressed as a double wammy that’s participating in a health issue now for humans as well as ocean life.]

Elected officials need to help with this issue. It’s their duty. They cannot keep looking the other way.

We (at mamaOcean~) have cleaned over 7,000 lbs of mainly plastic this past 6 weeks and maybe 20,000 pounds total in almost 4 miles of shoreline since October.  It’s pretty clean (we shall see after the holiday weekend, (aarrrr)) We need to keep cleaning everywhere possible, again, its killing the ocean daily.

So in a county that brings in nearly $5,000,000,000.00 a year from tourism and fishing does it not make sense to not only clean what brings in the money but to also assist in anyway possible to keep mosquitos from becoming a serious health issue?

I have written to various officials to no avail. It’s easier to ignore, I guess. We (at mamaOcean~) are willing to clean as much as possible, but the County needs to assist. Officials are earning $10-15K a month and for what? Maybe we could spend 150k a year to have a crew keep our shorelines clean? Protect ourselves, our health? Protect the ocean, marine life? Protect the future?

Come! Please step up and assist.  Help your very own community, the one that pays you, the one you live in.


One thought on “Trash + Rain = Mosquitoes

  1. Trash along the shoreline and elsewhere in the Keys environment has been a severe problem forever – at least from 2000 when Maya Totman of Big Pine Key used to beg for volunteers to help her clean up beaches as she rehabilitated wildlife disabled by trash. So, effectively, nothing has changed. Locals are as responsible as visitors for the mess. I suggest a trash toll booth at the entrance to the Keys to collect money for cleaning up the mess as well as a trash fee on transportation tickets. Locals would pay through an assessment for trash cleanup in the property tax bill. People caught improperly discarding trash – including cigarette butts – would be fined with trash cleanup community service. If everyone got really serious about taking care of the problem, there might be a little less trash in the environment of the Keys and definitely fewer incidents of wildlife disabled.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.