Quarterly Newsletter and Updates
King Tides and Mosquito Control in California
At the beginning of December California experienced massive King Tides, surges of water so large that many coastal areas throughout the state experienced flooding, blocked access to the shore and other inconveniences. While heavy tides have been a regular occurrence throughout history, the amount of water is larger than ever. Seeing a King Tide gives us insight into how climate change will alter our county landscape in the near future. Higher tides and flooding can lead to an increase in mosquitoes as well. Our native marsh mosquitoes Aedes squamiger and Aedes dorsalis lay thousands of eggs on marsh vegetation and damp areas that will likely be submerged at some point. When the water submerges the eggs mosquito larvae can hatch. If the water is trapped and has nowhere to drain, it creates a habitat that can produce millions of mosquitoes that fly around and suck blood. It’s a myth that mosquitoes need fresh water, they do not, they can hatch with salt water or even dirty wastewater. At the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District, we monitor the tides, and quickly treat areas of concern when we have massive surges of water, either from King Tides or storms. To learn more about the King Tides Project, and other ways climate will impact our daily lives, visit: California King Tides Project
District Transparency Certificate of Excellence
Earlier this month, the district received our third Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation, in recognition of our work to promote transparency and good governance. The Special District Leadership Foundation awards the certificate to special districts that have trained leadership and board of trustees on ethics, ensured financial reports, audits, policies and other documents are easily accessible on the district's website. Additionally, the foundation wants to see earnest civic engagement communicating to the public the scope of the special district’s mission and actual service to the community. Obtaining the first certificate required an update of systems and processes which had been in place for years. While the process was long, General Manager Ryan Clausnitzer relates, it was worth it. “Trust in public services is vital to thriving communities. Completing the work to become more transparent, and receiving the certificate is yet another way to demonstrate accountability to those we serve.” Clausnitzer encourages other special districts to update their policies and train their leadership in order to become more transparent to their respective communities.
Social media moment
Missing or torn screens are an easy way for mosquitoes to sneak into residences. The best way to protect your home is to install or replace any broken screens. If you find mosquitoes in your home or business, you can make a service request here.
Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. The report was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report. General Manager Ryan Clausnitzer says “This award speaks to more than just balancing our books correctly. The award highlights our growing reputation for transparency and responsiveness to the needs of our residents.” Clausnitzer highlighted the years long process of modernizing financial reporting which complements the districts commitment to transparency and credits the work of staff and the board of trustees for supporting the effort to win the award. The award requires a large audit of the district’s finances and work for past years, not just 2020 and 2021. Accounting Associate Michelle Robles, who spearheaded the award submission related “We are very proud of the work that we have accomplished over the past few years to win the GFOA award. This award reflects our financial accountability and commitment to serving the residents of Alameda County.” To learn more about the award, see Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting.
Subru Bhat, our Union City trustee since 2016, was recently elected to the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California board representing all trustees in the state of California. Subru will be our board president for ACMAD in 2022. Congratulations, Subru!
We are seeking a new trustee for the city of Emeryville. To be considered, email General Manager Ryan Clausnitzer, Ryan@mosquitoes.org for more information.
ACMAD in the news: No, genetically engineered mosquitoes aren’t about to be released in Berkeley by Kate Rauch on Berkeleyside.com
West Nile Virus Update
Our laboratory continues to test suitable dead birds for West Nile virus (WNV). So far this year we found only two West Nile positive birds. If you come across a dead bird please report it online at www.westnile.ca.gov. Mosquitoes can breed all year long in the Bay Area so preventative activities such as removing standing water, adding mosquito fish to ponds, troughs, and neglected swimming pools, reduce our risk of West Nile virus. Now is a great time to check for standing water in your yard and drain or cover anything that will hold water longer than 4 days. This is especially true when we have days of heavy rain in followed by days with lots of sunshine. Visit our backyard checklist to see common places where mosquitoes produce.