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Court Orders Drakes Bay Oyster Company To Comply With Coastal Act
Oyster company must remove invasive Manila clams, clean up its marine vomit, and end its plastic pollution of the Point Reyes National Seashore.
The controversial Drakes Bay Oyster Company will be required to remove the invasive Manila clams it planted, manage its invasive “marine vomit” problem that coats its oysters, and finally address the significant amounts of the company’s plastic debris that has polluted beaches all over the Point Reyes National Seashore according to a court ruling yesterday afternoon. Marin County Superior Court Judge Lynn Duryee sided with the California Coastal Commission and ruled that the Drakes Bay Oyster Company must take immediate steps to comply with the 2007 and 2013 Cease and Desist Orders, which mitigate some, but not all, of the company’s ongoing environmental harm to the national park wilderness area.
“Since inception, the Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been operating illegally as if basic regulations that protect our spectacular coastline don’t apply to it,” said Amy Trainer, executive director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin. “The court’s ruling supports what the public has known for years: this unsustainable oyster company that pollutes beaches, fosters the spread of invasive species, and causes harbor seal disturbance has no place in a national park wilderness area.”
The court ruling is the latest to reprimand the oyster company for its lack of compliance with coastal protection laws, including its failure to: comply with the production cap established in 2007, remove all the invasive Manila clams and Didemnum vexillum “marine vomit,” clean up its plastic debris pollution, remove several pressure-treated wooden racks that are outside the permit area, and stay out of protected habitat for harbor seals.
The Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which was removed from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Partner list more than 3 years ago, is being supported by the Koch brothers funded Pacific Legal Foundation and Americans For Prosperity in its quest to commercialize Drakes Estero Wilderness. Yesterday’s court ruling follows on the heels of this week’s news that California River Watch is preparing to sue the oyster company for violating the Clean Water Act.