Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/332

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'kill,' on both sides of which salt marsh flats extend for a mile or more to the highland. The southern and eastern shore is a continuation of the New Jersey coast line from the mouth of the Raritan River, and like it has a number of indentations more or less bordered by salt marsh areas. On all these marshes mosquitoes bred in uncounted millions and spread throughout the island. Result: several square miles of most desirable territory for suburban residences entirely unsettled. There are two shore resorts, South Beach and Midland Beach, feeble imitations of Coney Island in some directions, but more desirable in others, that just maintained themselves despite their attractions. During the day conditions were tolerable along shore, but as soon as the sun was low in the horizon trouble began, and as it became dusk the fight began, and pleasure seekers sought shelter behind screens or started for home.

This past summer, under the supervision of Dr. A. H. Doty, state quarantine officer, the salt marshes have been drained in the manner advocated by me, and the beginning was made on the eastern and southern shores, where Midland and South Beach are situated. I need hardly say that very few believed in good results, and scepticism was general even in circles where we might have expected material support But we got the needed money, secured a contractor within our estimate, and the eastern and southern shore work was done before the breeding season set in.

Result: there have been very few mosquitoes of any kind, and practically no marsh mosquitoes along this shore during the entire season. Visitors stayed longer and came more frequently to both beaches, which enjoyed a season of unparalleled prosperity, taxing the full capacity of the transportation companies. As the season advanced, the drainage work extended farther and farther away from the populated sections, permanent residents began to notice that nobody was putting in screens, and that screened porches were never used. On the golf links games could be carried on while the light lasted, and outdoor dinners and suppers became the rule at the Country Club. When it was fully realized that there was practically no mosquito pest, and the improvement in the character of the drained territory was obvious, there was a change in public sentiment. Plans were made for extending the attractions at the beaches, and many thousands will be put into new amusement enterprises during the present winter. Land values stiffened and very little was offered for sale.

Two industrial enterprises decided to locate on the marsh area On the west of the island, and these are expected to employ, respectively, 4,000, and 6,000 men, most of whom will undoubtedly settle near-by. These enterprises will result in actually reclaiming a large section of the marsh, which is something that mosquito drainage does not and was not intended to accomplish.