Support Bay Area-consumers’ ability to purchase Drakes Bay Farm Oysters
Please support this farm by going to www.drakesbayoyster.com and sign the petition to be sent to Secretary Salazar’s office. Also, two different filmmakers have told the 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. Many of you will be surprised by the facts. The oyster farm number is (415) 669-1149 if you have other means of providing support to this family.
Supportive comments for Drakes Bay Oyster Farm can be left with Secretary Salazar’s office at: (202) 208-3100. Please do so before November 30th.
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 Drakes Bay Oyster Farm, a small family farm nestled among the working landscapes of the Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, California. This is first and foremost an issue of preserving a rich family farming heritage and community resource.
The Lunnys have been farming and ranching adjacent to Drakes Estero for four generations. As farmers, the Lunnys come from a dairy background and currently run a certified organic and certified grass-fed beef ranch. They also operate Drakes Bay Oyster Company in the pristine waters of neighboring Drakes Estero. The farm produces up to 40% of California’s oysters and is the site of the last operating oyster cannery in the state of California. Without Drakes Bay oysters, the Bay Area would have to import an additional ~38,000 lbs. of oysters each week, making Drakes Bay Oysters a vital part of our local nutrient dense food web.
The farm employs 30 people with an equal balance of men and woman, mostly of Latino descent. A significant number of the farm workers and their families also live in homes on the farm property; some of these families have worked at the oyster farm for over 30 years. Drakes has a rich and productive education program which is a hallmark of the farm, receiving over 50,000 visitors annually and hosting numerous local schools for educational tours.
The current dispute being decided by Salazar involves the Point Reyes National Seashore. The farm operates on Drakes Estero and is the only farm within Point Reyes National Seashore that is open to the visiting public. On November 30, 2012, the farm’s 40-year renewable reservation will expire. The Lunnys have asked for a permit to continue operations—just as the other farms operating in the Seashore received without controversy when their original reservations expired. The Point Reyes National Seashore has presented reports of the farm’s ecological footprint that have contained falsified and unsubstantiated data; it is still unclear what the agenda of the Park Service is to remove the farm. Multiple independent research entities have found no severe disruption of the Drakes Estero by the presence of the oyster farm. This has been a seven year dispute involving all levels of government and is well documented. Secretary Salazar himself comes from a 5th generation Colorado Ranch.
The issues with Drakes Bay Oyster Farm concerning government jurisdiction and the right to farm with exceptional practices to produce nutrient dense foods continue to be at the core of our mission.