Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Judge says to develop a plan to cease operations by August 11.

Drakes Bay Oyster Company update 7/8: Time to wind it down.

The clock's spring is winding down
July 7, Judge Gonzalez told the Department of the Interior and Drakes Bay Oyster Company to develop a plan to wind down and cease the commercial operation in Drakes Estero, part of the Philip Burton Wilderness area. Another meeting will take place August 11.

Humboldt Bay proposals (L, in blue)
and Drakes Estero (R)
(click to enlarge)
(Humboldt Bay image information taken from 

Look north young men and women
One suggestion has been that DBOC consider relocating the operation to other tideland areas in California, with Humboldt Bay being mentioned as a possible alternative. There, the shellfish industry has been working with state and local officials to open large tracts of the northern portion through the "California Shellfish Initiative." The image above shows for comparison the size of the two bodies of water. The red line is equal to one mile. These skilled workers, should they desire to start their own company, would most likely find money readily available, providing wealth far beyond that from being a DBOC employee, and set an example to their children of how adversity is overcome. Without the help of lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations firms.

Look to the past to temper optimism
While DBOC attorneys appear willing to negotiate the final actions necessary to complete the Philip Burton Wilderness area, past performance and recent statements should temper optimism. There have been numerous agreements to work out issues in the past, only to find attorneys recommending legal actions instead. Most recently, public relations attorney Peter Prows has stated: 
"...we will be evaluating over the next couple of weeks what new claims we might want to bring and how to proceed."

A horse cannot swim forever
Mr. Lunny has stated he believes he is fighting this because "it is right." He is entitled to his beliefs, but the simple fact is he made a bad business decision when he assumed he could somehow get the lease extended. 19 months of legal actions have resulted in the courts supporting, over and over, the Department of the Interior's position that the lease would end November 29, 2012; that Mr. Lunny was fully aware of that fact when he purchased the farm in 2005; and, that Congress legislated the creation of the Philip Burton Wilderness and did not exclude the oyster farm. This horse needs to be brought to shore and put out to pasture, for the benefit of all.

Agriculture and ranching in Marin County are not threatened
Claims of agriculture and ranching in Marin County being under siege and that this step is only the first in a long march to eliminate them is little more a public relations executive's pen put to paper. It is without foundation and to repeat it does not make it any more true. Agriculture and ranching have been, are, and will be a strong part of Marin County. A public relations executive in San Francisco won't change that.

The 6 p's of business: prior proper planning prevents poor performance
Asking for additional time to develop a plan which should have been developed in 2012 when the lease was slated to end is a simple example of the what happens when a business does not plan. Giving DBOC another month is generous. It is hoped they will use it wind things down, not wind up another legal plan in which only the attorneys benefit.

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