11-07-13 WMC Bagley/McCloskey Brief Argues for Sustainable Agriculture

Bagley/McCloskey Brief Argues for Sustainable Agriculture

By Sarah Rolph

One thing that is notable about the Amici brief filed by William T. Bagley et al. on behalf of DBOC is the number of supporters, many of them local luminaries. Joining the brief are:

  • Former State Assemblyman William T. Bagley, who in 1965 authored Assembly Bill 124 transferring the Point Reyes tidelands to the National Park Service, specifically reserving the State’s right to fish,
  • Former Congressman “Pete” McCloskey, coauthor of the Endangered Species Act, who and intervened with the Office of the President to secure the 1970 Congressional appropriation that enabled the National Park Service to create the Seashore,
  • Phyllis Faber, a noted wetland scientist who helped found, and served on, the California Coastal Commission, and co-founded the Marin Agricultural Land Trust,
  • Mark Dowie, an award-winning investigative environmental and science reporter and resident of Marin County with a stated interest “is in ensuring that public policy and decisions impacting the environment are based on accurate facts and sound science,”
  • Tomales Bay Association, a 50-year old West Marin County environmental organization that supports DBOC “as a critical component of on-going habitat restoration projects for Threatened & Endangered species, especially native oyster restoration projects in SF Bay and elsewhere in the State, because it is the last operating cannery in California and therefore the only readily available source of shell in California,”
  • Patricia Unterman, owner of the Hayes Street Grill, known for its fresh fish, who says “The loss of the oysters produced by DBOC would have a devastating impact on our mission, our menu and the expectations and pleasure of our customers.  We cannot replace the fresh, local, shucked oysters from DBOC,”
  • Tomales Bay Oyster Company, one of two oyster farms located on Tomales Bay in Marin County with retail shops along State Highway One; its retail and picnic area is at capacity and its customers will be adversely affected if DBOC’s 50,000 customers attempt to visit,
  • Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture,  an unincorporated association of people who believe that “a diversified and healthy agricultural community is important to our individual health and to our community’s and our nation’s safety, economy and environment,” and are “advocates for the use of good science and fair processes,”
  • The California Farm Bureau Federation and the Marin and Sonoma County FarmBureaus, nonprofit voluntary membership corporations that exist to protect and promote agricultural interests in the State and in their Counties,
  • Food Democracy Now, a grassroots movement of more than 350,000 American farmers and citizens dedicated to reforming policies relating to food, agriculture and the environment,
  • Marin Organic, founded in 2001 to foster “direct relationship between organic producers, restaurants, and consumers” to strengthen the commitment and support for local organic farms, such as DBOC.

While these supporters are indeed impressive, the brief is also notable for its facts and its analysis.

The brief argues:  “The Drakes Bay Oyster Company is a treasured part of California’s coastal zone in the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Shellfish from Drakes Estero are an important part of the San Francisco Bay Area’s world famous local sustainable agriculture movement.  Modern environmentalists hail Marin County and DBOC as a model for sustainable agriculture. Consistent with Federal policies supporting increasing the Nation’s supply of sustainably raised seafood, California, which leases Drakes Estero to DBOC, has declared shellfish cultivation there to be ‘in the public interest.’ ”

Please read the brief, think about what it means to you, and share your thoughts with the Citizen. You can find the brief here:



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