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November 26, 2012

Will Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Survive?


This past Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar paid a visit to Point Reyes National Seashore and met with Drakes Bay Oyster Farm owners, Kevin and Nancy Lunny.  It was really interesting to be able to attend this meeting with the Secretary of Interior, right hand to the President in the small town of Inverness.

The Drakes Bay Oyster Farm issue has been one of the most controversial issues in Marin for the past several years and it's finally coming to a conclusion.  The oyster far has been in existence for 85 years, named Johnson's Oysters before the Lunny's bought it and took over seven years ago as Drakes Bay Oyster Farm.  Their 30 year lease will be up with the park service on November 30th and Secretary Salazar needs to make a decision by then on whether to extend the historic agreement or close down the oyster farm.




Secretary Salazar spent an hour at Drakes Bay Oyster Farm where he toured the farm, listened to the history behind Kevin's family owned oyster farm and spoke in Spanish to a few of the Hispanic employees, some of them employed by the oyster farm for 25 years.   The farm grows, harvests, shucks and sells oysters that account for 40% of California's oyster supply.
































An oyster barge makes its way in with a fresh load of oysters..........



Secretary Salazar sits down with Kevin Lunny, Supervisor Kinnsey and a few others to discuss the situation in more detail.....



After the oyster farm visit, Secretary Salazar and entourage headed over to the park headquarters at Bear Valley Visitor Center where he met in a closed session {open to press}with activist environmentalists who want  to see the oyster farm close, claiming it endangers marine mammals and insists the Wilderness Act calls for its closure.




I, for one, hope to see Drakes Bay Oyster Farm survive and have its lease extended.  They not only provide delicious oysters, but provide visitors the unique opportunity to experience visiting a working oyster farm.  The educational benefits it provides our future generations far out-weigh converting the farm solely to wilderness, in my opinion.

Click here to learn more about Drakes Bay Oyster Farm


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