Save the Drake’s Bay Oyster

Nov 10, 2007

In case you haven’t heard, the National Park Service has announced that it plans to shut down the Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm in 2012. Background: Drake’s Estero is a pristine estuary that delves miles into Point Reyes National Seashore. The oyster farm, which has been there since the 1950s, has the cleanest waters of any oyster farm in the country. It’s also the last oyster cannery in California. When I visited the farm in November, Kevin Lunny, the owner, showed me around. Everything happens right on the farm, in a handful of tiny, ramshackle buildings. They even have their own hatchery on site. The ecological footprint is tiny, and there’s probably no other farm of any kind in the country producing so much high-quality, ultra-nutritious protein so efficiently. Kevin explained to me that the amount of organic meat that can be produced per acre on the oyster farm is many times what can be produced on an organic cattle farm (which he also owns). Kevin is even working to restore to the estuary two native, threatened shellfish species: the Olympia Oyster and the Purple-Fringed Rock Scallop. Yet the Park Service has decided that a working oyster farm, even one that is the paragon of sustainable agriculture, doesn’t fit with their vision of what a national park should include. So they are shutting down the farm and ending 50 years of tradition.

 

What you can do:

 

Please log your comments on the National Park Service Website  by following this link: 

 http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=43390

 

–Contact Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm and ask what you can do to help.

 

–Keep buying Drake’s Bay oysters.

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