More Than 10,000 Pieces of Oyster Company Plastic Collected in Recent Years; Marine Vomit Spreading to Eelgrass
The Drakes Bay Oyster Company is trashing our National Seashore with thousands of pieces of plastic debris. In recent years, beach walkers have collected over 10,000 pieces of the Company’s distinct plastic tubes from all over Drakes Estero and Point Reyes beaches. The Company’s millions of non-native oysters and oyster gear have facilitated the spread of a highly aggressive invasive species, Didemnum vexillum, aka “marine vomit.” The marine vomit growing all over the Company’s oysters and gear has now spread to eelgrass, an alarming and ecologically destructive trend.
Combined with its laundry list of California Coastal Act violations and Cease and Desist Orders, thousands of motor boat trips per year that can disturb harbor seals, flush resident and migratory birds, cut repeatedly into eelgrass blades, and wreck the wilderness tranquility of the marine waters, the Drakes Bay Oyster Company doesn’t want you to know the truth about the damage its private interests are costing taxpayers and ecology of Drakes Estero Marine Wilderness Area.
The Company, with ties to the Koch Brothers and ultra-conservative pro-industry interests, grows millions of non-native oysters and invasive Manila clams while paying pennies on the dollar in rent to the National Park Service. The Company signed a contract in 2005 knowing that its permit expired on November 30, 2012 and has sued the Interior Department for upholding the public interest and the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act.
The millions of Americans that own Point Reyes National Seashore believe that a deal is a deal, and don’t want our most cherished public lands undermined by industry interests. We understand that our National Parks are America’s greatest idea and want them protected for current and future generations. The public interest and our national heritage demand that Drakes Bay Oyster Company get out of Drakes Estero – and take responsibility for the ecological mess that it has created.