There are lots of people who work hard every day to keep the San Lorenzo River healthy, clean and safe. Some of those people work for the County measuring mosquito activity and reducing public health risk. Mosquito breeding activity along the shallows of the San Lorenzo River can create problems when the river mouth shoals and the water level rises. Water floods the vegetation, and mosquitoes breed that can carry West Nile virus and malaria. Marshes, culverts and storm drains below the levees also breed mosquitoes.
Vector Control Specialist Melanie Benedetti and the staff of the Santa Cruz County Mosquito Abatement / Vector Control (MAVC) coordinate with the City to mitigate the problem and can be seen working the river, dip sampling and applying biorational mosquito larvicides. Breaching the sand bar at the river mouth reduces the mosquito breeding problem but should be considered in context with other ecological considerations. Thought must be put into balancing environmental health concerns with public health ones to find a solution. The risk of mosquitoes to our community and compliance with State public health laws are important to consider in the river management decisions.