Facing closure deadline, Drakes Bay oyster farm harvests final crop

Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The end of the oyster farm upholds a promise put forward decades ago in law to fully protect Drakes Estero, but it also severs ties to a cherished history of shellfish farming in the waterway.

By New Year’s Day, there should be no more oysters in Drakes Estero, a placid estuary in the Point Reyes National Seashore that has been, for the better part of eight years, the setting for a tempest of epic proportions.
Ranchers, environmentalists, scientists, food lovers and famous chefs, members of Congress and a bevy of lawyers have been embroiled in the conflict over a family-owned farm that planted millions of tiny oysters in the estero’s cold, clear waters and harvested $1.5 million worth of table-ready bivalves a year, continuing an aquaculture operation dating back to the 1930s.
Questions over the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s impact, good or bad, on the 2,500-acre Pacific Ocean estuary, and how the company was treated by the federal government, fairly or unfairly, raised passions that likely will persist for years in west Marin County and beyond.
Read more via Facing closure deadline, Drakes Bay oyster farm harvests | The Press Democrat.

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