Thursday, November 15, 2012

Help Save a California Oyster Farm

The oyster industry is in an uproar as the National Park Service (NPS) has had an agenda of shutting down a California oyster farm that provides 40% of California’s oyster harvest. The NPS has searched out various lame reasons (noise? interfering with seals, etc.)  In a process that has been showed to be flagrantly biased and flawed. As you learn more- consider signing on to the petition. To do so click here sign the petition

Below is a section of Robert Rheault’s post to the shelfish community..

The Lonny’s permit is set to expire at the end of the month. The National Park Service seems intent on eliminating compatible and sustainable shellfish production in Drakes Estero.  Lawyers did a Freedom of Information Act request on the NPS and the group that was supposedly chosen to be an "independent" reviewer of the NPS allegations of seal disturbances.  It turns out that dozens of e-mails reveal that the review was hardly independent, but rather was a complete whitewash. The NPS fabricated the data and then when congress directed them to conduct a review, they hired a hack to whitewash the results. The e-mail trail makes fascinating reading and paints a damning picture of deceit and arrogance.

A 44 page Data Quality Act petition has been filed with the Inspector General and we expect the whole house of cards to come tumbling down.  Without seal impacts the farm impacts are negligible. The noise impacts were disproven (remember the Jet Ski sound data debacle?).  The rest of the impacts were classified in the NPS Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as "minor."  But we have to raise a big stink or the whole tawdry affair might just get swept under the rug to protect some highly placed bureaucrats.  The ECSGA board will discuss what action we expect to take in our next meeting.

Why should we care? - Because the allegations of environmental harm that the NPS has suggested occur in their Draft EIS will be used as a weapon in future lease applications across the country. Even though the impacts described in the DEIS were disputed and disproven by dozens of qualified scientists that submitted hundreds of pages of factual evidence to dispute the faulty NPS claims. Even though cameras set up to take pictures of the farm every minute for several years failed to detect a seal interaction.
Don't let the NPS throw our industry under the bus with false allegations of environmental damage!

Here is a plea for help from the family.

Dear Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Supporters!

It is decision time and we need your help!  Before the end of this month, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, will decide on the fate of the historic oyster farm located within the working landscapes of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

During this crucial period of time, two different filmmakers saw the need to tell a story about the controversy between Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the National Park Service. Please take a moment to view both of these thoughtful videos. You will not be disappointed.  Many of you will be surprised by the facts.

Video produced by Friends of Drakes Bay Oyster [18 min]:

Video produced by [3 min]:

You can make a difference. Please sign the petition to save this vital food and education resource!

To learn more and for up-to-the-minute info, please visit

Thank you for your support and please share this with friends!
The Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Family

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