Drakes Bay Oyster Files Motion Correcting
False Statements by Coastal Commission
California Coastal Commission Misrepresented Facts to Marin County Court
Inverness, Calif. (July 29, 2013) – Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) filed a motion in the Marin County Court today requesting that misrepresentations by the California Coastal Commission be reconsidered before the Court makes its final ruling. The motion clarifies facts about DBOC’s operations.
“These misrepresentations by the Coastal Commission are the same false charges that have been leveled for years by the Park Service,” said Kevin Lunny, DBOC. “Those allegations have been repeatedly proven false by the nation’s top scientists, and many are refuted by the Commission’s own reports. We respectfully request that the court consider all of the evidence before making its final decision.”
In February 2013, the Commission filed a Cease and Desist Order, leveling serious charges of environmental harm against the oyster farm. Yet the Commission has presented no data or evidence to back up these charges. The motion corrects four false assertions made in court by Coastal Commission counsel:
First, the Commission asserted that DBOC has exceeded the shellfish-production limits of a consent
order issued in 2007. In fact, DBOC has at all times complied with those limits.
Second, the Commission asserted that DBOC’s boats get too close to harbor seals. In fact, all the
evidence—including an analysis by the National Park Service of 300,000 secret photographs of
oyster-boat operations—establishes that DBOC boats do not get too close to the seals.
Third, the Commission asserted that DBOC is “throwing its garbage” into the estero. In fact, the
plastic materials that wash up on shore come from the previous owner and the open ocean. DBOC
has a program in place for collecting and disposing of this legacy debris as part of its stewardship
Fourth, the Commission asserted that DBOC is harming the ecology of Drakes Estero. In fact, the
evidence establishes that the ecology is robust and that there is no harm attributable to the oyster
DBOC has been falsely accused. The motion seeks to correct what has been, in the words of the
Commission’s Vice-Chair, Steve Kinsey, “a remarkable assassination of the character of a family”
that has been “the stewards” of the environment at Drakes Estero.
About Drakes Bay Oyster Company
Oyster farming in Drakes Estero, located at Point Reyes, Marin County, has been part of the
region’s history for nearly 100 years. The Lunnys, a fourth-generation Point Reyes ranching family,
purchased Drakes Bay Oyster Company in 2004 to revive a historical part of the local community
and ensure the continued environmental health of Drakes Estero. Drakes Bay currently employs
nearly 30 community members, and farms sustainably in Drakes Estero, producing approximately
one-third of all oysters in California. The Lunny family works hard to participate in keeping the
agricultural economy of West Marin alive. Drakes Bay actively participates in the creation of a more
sustainable food model that restores, conserves, and maintains the productivity of the local
landscape and the health of its inhabitants. For more information, please visit
http://www.drakesbayoyster.com. You can also visit us on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Drakes-Bay-Oyster-Farm/111934439492 or on Twitter at