On the last day for retail sales a ceremony was held at DBOC at which a number of people were asked to speak. I was honored to be one of the speakers. Below is the transcript of the speech I gave after introducing myself, informing all of how I came to be involved, and a little about my involvement through this “blog”.
… New York State’s only remaining commercial oyster farm operates on the OYSTER BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, producing 90% of the State’s oyster harvest. The State of New York has designated the Oyster Bay area as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. …. If there, WHY NOT HERE?!
cover of Nat’l Geographic, May 2014
THE NEW FOOD REVOLUTION –
To feed our hungry planet, we must change the way we farm – and the way we think.
By Jonathan Foley
DIRECTOR OF the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota.
“When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.” from pg 35 of the hard copy
· Agriculture is among the greatest contributors to global warming, emitting more greenhouse gases than all our cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes combined—largely from
o methane released by cattle and rice farms,
o nitrous oxide from fertilized fields, and
o carbon dioxide from the cutting of rain forests to grow crops or raise livestock.
o Farming is the thirstiest user of our precious water supplies
o Runoff from fertilizers and manure makes Farming a major polluter
o The spread of prosperity across the world, especially in China and India, is driving an increased demand for meat, eggs, and dairy, boosting pressure to grow more corn and soybeans to feed more cattle, pigs, and chickens.
o As we’ve cleared areas of grassland and forest for farms, we’ve lost crucial habitat, making agriculture a major driver of wildlife extinction.
· If these trends continue, the double whammy of population growth and richer diets will require us to roughly double the amount of crops we grow by 2050.
The author and his team proposed 5 steps to solve the world’s food dilemma.” I have taken his steps and included the validity of the argument to keep DBOC
1. Freeze Agriculture’s Footprint…. Avoiding further deforestation must be a top priority.
o OYSTER FARMING REQUIRES NO DEFORESTATION
2. Grow More on Farms We’ve Got…. high-tech, precision farming systems, and borrowing from organic farming, could boost yields in several times over.
o LEAVE DRAKES BAY OYSTER FARM RIGHT WHERE IT IS,
o It doesn’t require high tech farming systems,
o It is already 100% organic,
3. Use Resources More Efficiently….. Organic farming can also greatly reduce the use of water and chemicals
o Oyster Farming requires neither fertilizers nor chemicals, and uses no added fresh water!
4. Shift Diets…. Finding more efficient ways to grow meat and shifting to less meat-intensive diets…could free up substantial amounts of food Curtailing the use of food crops for biofuels could also enhance food availability.
o Retaining a sustainable, renewable, ecologically and environmentally beneficial source of food production – OYSTER FARMING – will do that. AND No one’s using oysters for bio-fuels!
5. Reduce Waste. 25 % of the world’s food calories … are lost or wasted before they can be consumed. Tackling waste would be one of THE most effective options for boosting food availability.
o Oysters come in individually, nature wrapped packages,
o buy what you need, eat what you bought!
o Even the shells are useful
§ whole they provide habitat restoration
§ crushed they can be used
§ organic fertilizer
§ ground cover
Oyster production is the winner in solving the world food shortage dilema.
George Washington is purported to have said “Our country is an experiment” and he gave it 20 years.
I give this Wilderness Without Oysters experiment 20 years. It will be put back for both reasons environmental and necessity. We’ll have 9 Billion mouths to feed.
It will be too late for the Lunnys, their workers and families as well as all the ranchers and dairies on this peninsula – for the water filtration system provided by the oysters having been removed will leave them as the major polluter of the estero, and soon, they too, will HAVE to go, unless CONGRESS INTERVENES.
CONGRESS: YOU HAVE ALREADY REQUESTED INSTALLATION OF MORE OYSTER FARMS ON ALL OUR COASTS
CONGRESS: Don’t let this Empty Environmental Experiment ruin the lives of all these people AND EXTINGUISH THE AGRICULTURAL CHARACTER OF WEST MARIN.
CONGRESS, you have the power and the authority to reverse this decision.
CONGRESS ACT TO REVERSE THIS DECISION TODAY.