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District History


Chronology of Significant events in District History

This chronology lists events directly related to the District and events occurring from outside that had affect on the District operations or development. Events directly related to the District are in bold type face, those occurring outside that affected operations are in normal type face.

1904 City of Oakland mosquito control in storm drains. The only record currently available is a photograph of a horse-drawn wagon, inspector and equipment from the W.B. Herms collection.

1904 The San Rafael Improvement Club funds mosquito control on North Bay marshes. Dr. C. W. Woodworth started the program.

1905 Burlingame Improvement Club funds mosquito control work on marshes.

July 1906 Mosquito Control, Bulletin No. 178 by H. J. Quayle was published by the University of California.

1908-1910 Southern Pacific Railroad sponsored a demonstration train carrying Dr. William B. Herms to travel throughout California demonstrating how Anopheline mosquitoes transmit malaria.

1909 California reported 6,000 cases of malaria.

1910 First anti-malaria campaign started in Penryn, California. The Penryn Fruit Company, Prof. William B. Herms, and Harold F. Gray involved in formation of the program.

1910 Anti-malaria campaign organized in Oroville, California.

1911 Quill Bill passed, which would have authorized the formation of mosquito control districts, but was vetoed by the Governor.

May 25, 1915 The Mosquito Abatement Districts Act passed and signed by the Governor. The bill authorized the formation of mosquito control districts in the State of California.

1916 City of Oakland oiling bayside marshes for mosquito control. The only record currently available is a photo of workers and oil tanker from the W.B. Herms collection.

1920 The California Mosquito Control Association was formed. Harold F. Gray and Prof. William B. Herms are early leaders.

1922 Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) introduced into California to control mosquitoes.

1925 Professor W. B. Herms, Head of the Division of Entomology and Parasitology, College of Agriculture, University of California, published an article entitled "What should be done in Alameda County toward promoting mosquito abatement?".

1926 A campaign to form a mosquito abatement district was launched in San Leandro. A mosquito control committee of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce was appointed. The committee arranged for an investigation of mosquito production on the marshes in Oakland and San Leandro areas by Edward Stuart, then a Sanitary Engineer with the State Department of Public Health.

1926 Prof. Stanley B. Freeborn publishes the first guide to the biology and identification of California mosquitoes.

1927 The San Leandro Unity Council appointed a committee to assist in conducting the campaign to form a district.

1929 A campaign to organize a mosquito control district in Alameda County was started.

March 11, 1930 District officially formed by vote of the Board of Supervisors.

1930 K. F. Meyer and coworkers isolated virus from brain of a Merced County horse. Virus is later determined to be the Western Equine Encephalomyelitis virus.

1930 Harold F. Gray hired as District Manager. Funding was obtained from the County to operate for the first year. The District included 320 square miles of Alameda County.

1930 George F. Russell was hired to provide aerial photos of Alameda County marshes.

1931 The District Investigation Act was passed in California to limit the formation of Districts.

1932 First supplies of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) obtained from Napa County Mosquito Abatement District.

1935 The American Mosquito Control Association was formed.



1936 Encephalitis was made a reportable disease.

1937 Decoto Depot purchased

1938 Hayward Depot purchased.

1941 Hammon and coworkers report isolation of both Saint Louis and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis viruses from Culex tarsalis.

1942 Research started on DDT as a mosquito control agent.

1942 Oakland Yard purchased.

1945 Pleasanton Township annexed into the District. The District was then 440 square miles of Alameda County.

1945 District joined the Public Employees' Retirement system.

1947 The Bureau of Vector Control was formed as part of the Division of Environmental Sanitation of the State Health Department.

1947 The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) was passed. The act required that all pesticides be registered with the United States Department of Agriculture prior to being marketed or shipped into interstate commerce.

1951 Pleasanton Depot leased from the City of Pleasanton.

1951 Malaria outbreak at Vera Lake amoung Girl Scouts from Alameda County.

1952 California experienced an encephalitis epidemic. (420 cases)

1954 The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1910 was amended formalizing the procedure of setting pesticide tolerances by the Food and Drug Administration.

1955 E. Chester Robinson hired as District Manager.

1955 Control Zones established by E. Chester Robinson.

1956 Hayward Depot sold to Hayward School District.

1958 Pleasanton Depot moved to St. John's Street in Pleasanton.

1959 The Delaney Clause further amended the Pure Food Law by stating that any chemical found to cause cancer in laboratory animals may not appear in food intended for humans.

1962 Rachel Carson published the book "The Silent Spring" and a new wave of public consciousness and concern sweeps the nation about chemical use.

1964 FIFRA was amended requiring registration numbers and signal words on labels. Manufacturers must prove safety of materials rather than government proving hazard.

1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act passed.

1966 Livermore Township annexed into the District. The District encompassed 810 square miles.

1969 Cooperative Pesticide Use Agreement with the California Department of Health Services was enacted.

1970 The Environmental Protection Agency was created and assumed responsibility for administering FIFRA.

1970 The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was passed. The act requires environmental assessments of any proposed projects.

1970 The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed.

1970 California Species Preservation Act and the Endangered Wildlife Act was passed.

1971 Fredrick C. Roberts hired as District Manager.

1972 Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act was passed. Mosquito control personnel now need to be certified.

1972 DDT was banned as an insecticide for use in the United States.

1973 The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed.

1973 District filed an exemption to CEQA.

1974 Standards Governing Certification of Local Agency Personnel (Act) was enacted.



1975 Methoprene (a synthetic juvenile hormone) was registered as a biological pesticide.

1977 Goldberg and Margalit reported the discovery of a new bacterial strain of Bacillus thuringiensis collected from mosquitoes in the Negev desert in Israel.

1978 Proposition 13 passed by the voters. Five employees retired, two employees were laid off. Remaining personnel organized into two sections. Personnel from the Pleasanton depot were moved to the Decoto depot, the Pleasanton Depot was used for storage.

1979 Assembly Bill 8 was passed establishing the state augmentation fund.

1980 Wampler amendment to FIFRA passed requiring peer review of scientific studies funded by the EPA.

1980 First computer purchased by the District. Tandy computers were installed in the Oakland office and modem communication was set up with the Decoto depot.

1980 Vector Control Joint Powers Agency formed to provide self insurance for Mosquito and Vector Control Districts.

1981 Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) was registered by the U.S. EPA.

June 8, 1982 Measure K passed by 67.6% of the voters. Of 300,483 ballots cast, 157,191 voted yes, 75,168 voted no. This measure authorized the District to levee a special tax to provide funding for mosquito control in Alameda County.

1984 New building in Hayward completed. Personnel from the Pleasanton, Decoto and Oakland depots were moved to the new facilities in Hayward. All District operations were consolidated into one location.

1984 The Oakland, Pleasanton and Decoto Depots were sold.

1991 Bacillus sphaericus (Bs) was registered by the U.S. EPA.

1992 District reorganized into a "Learning Organization".

1993 The State established the Education Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF), shifting billions of dollars of local taxes to school districts.

1994 John R. Rusmisel hired as District Manager.

1995 Consolidation study exploring possible unification of the District with the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District completed with the decision to remain separate.

1995 The Decoto Depot repurchased to complete an environmental clean up of residual DDT. The Pleasanton Depot site was also cleaned. Contaminated soil from the Decoto and Pleasanton depots was removed to approved hazardous material sites and/or incinerated.

1997 Proposition 218, known as "The Right to Vote on Taxes Act" passed making it more difficult for local agencies to establish benefit assessments.

1997 District established an internet web site to provide information to the public.

1998 The DDT residual clean up was completed in 1998 and the Decoto Depot site was resold.

1999 District completed a Mitigated Negative Declaration as part of an update of CEQA documentation.

2001 Aedes albopictus found in cargo containers carrying lucky bamboo at Port of Oakland.

2002 West Nile Virus first discovered in California.

2003 West Nile Virus first discovered in Alameda County in an infected horse.

2004 First West Nile Virus positive bird and squirrel found in Alameda County.

2004 District obtained an NPDES permit for the use of larvicides.

2005 First West Nile Virus positive mosquito pool found in Alameda County.

2007 Remodel and addition to the District building completed.

2008 District benefit assessment passed with a 70.19% approval rate from Alameda County property owners.

2010 District library dedicated to the memory of Harvey I. Scudder, ACMAD board member from 1982-2003.