Save Drakes Bay Oyster Farm! Support the Collaborative Management Alternative!
Dear Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Supporters!
As you know, none of the NPS DEIS alternatives (A, B, C or D) were acceptable.
We now have an Alternative that you can actually support---the “Collaborative Management Alternative”! We encourage you to submit the following comment:
“I support the Collaborative Management Alternative as the preferred alternative in the final DBOC SUP EIS.” http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=43390
You can read a summary of the Alternative below. If you wish to do so, you may also submit this summary with your comment, as well. Please remember:
· your comments are due by this Friday, December 9th, at midnight Mountain Standard Time, and
· you are not limited to a single comment, so even if you’ve already commented you can still send in another comment.
We apologize to those of you who attempted to use our faulty links in our previous email. The error has been corrected and the link to the NPS EIS comment form is now working.
For more information, please visit www.alsamarin.org and www.oysterzone.wordpress.com.
With our heartfelt gratitude to each of you,
All of us at Drakes Bay Oyster Company
COLLABORATIVE MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVE:
A Ten-Year Special Use Permit with Option for Extension; Rehabilitation of Existing Facilities; and Construction of New Processing Facilities
This alternative permits DBOC to continue to utilize onshore facilities within the Seashore (PRNS) pastoral zone to support shellfish cultivation in Drakes Estero pursuant to its leases from the California Department of Fish and Game [CDFG]. DBOC would pay “fair market value” for use of the on-shore facilities, which would take into account the value of interpretive services provided and the investment needed to rehabilitate existing facilities and construct new processing facilities. The rehabilitation and construction work would be as described in the discussion of Alternative D.
Under this alternative, DBOC will collaborate with relevant organizations, including but not limited to the NPS, the CDFG, the UC SeaGrant program and other educational and research agencies and in developing interpretive programs and scientifically valid research projects as recommended by the NRC and MMC. This alternative provides educational opportunities for people of all ages, including Seashore visitors, students and researchers, relating to estuarine ecology and mariculture.
This alternative is consistent with the “national interest” expressed in President Clinton’s May 26, 2000 Executive Order 13158 directing the Departments of Commerce (DOC) and Interior to expand and strengthen the “Nation’s system of marine protected areas.” It respects the California Fish and Game Commission designation, effective May 2010, of Drakes Estero as a State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA), a protected area in which recreational clam digging and shellfish cultivation pursuant to CDFG leases are permitted. DBOC’s operation within a SMCA and PRNS presents a unique opportunity for collaborative research that supports the policies of the National Shellfish Initiative [Initiative] announced by NOAA and DOC in June 2011, and responds directly and positively to NRC and MMC recommendations regarding collaborative efforts to inform adaptive management of Drakes Estero.
This alternative supports the goals of the Initiative, which are to increase domestic seafood production, create sustainable jobs and restore marine habitats. It provides opportunities for research as called for by the Initiative, “….on the interactions between shellfish and the environment in terms of climate change, ocean acidification, naturally occurring pathogens and parasites, and other factors . . .” This alternative supports DBOC’s efforts to restore native oysters in Drakes Estero and to study the potential for native oysters to withstand the effects of global ocean acidification now beginning to affect all Pacific coast shellfish.
This alternative sustainably supports the local economy by continuing to attract thousands of ethnically diverse visitors to West Marin every year and continuing to provide over half of the San Francisco Bay Area’s sustainably farmed shellfish. It protects desperately needed affordable housing for farmworkers on remote Point Reyes ranches.
Under this alternative, DBOC will continue to provide essential oyster shell for environmental programs, such as the San Francisco Bay Native Oyster Restoration Project, the SF Bay Bird Observatory Snowy Plover Habitat Enhancement Project and the California Department of Fish and Game Least Tern Habitat Enhancement Project.
This alternative supports a landscape that is ecologically and economically sustainable. It is consistent with the natural resource management provisions in the PRNS General Management Plan, and enables the Seashore to collaboratively integrate ecosystem science and natural and cultural resource management to better understand and manage relationships among the physical, biological, and cultural elements of a working land and seascape, while maintaining its distinctive "sense of place and character."
Drakes Bay Oyster Company
17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Oyster Company Road
Inverness, California 94937
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