Donate: Lawsuit by People for DBOC
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The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) has agreed to administer a fund to help finance the lawsuit filed July 17th to oppose the National Parks Service closing Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC). Read “Emergency Suit Filed to Stop DBOC Closure” for details.
Plaintiffs in the new lawsuit include the Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture (ALSA), Tomales Bay Oyster Company, and other members of the local shellfish and restaurant industry and agricultural leaders in Marin County, California.
The new lawsuit challenges the failure of the Secretary of the Interior and other defendants to comply with procedural and substantive requirements in the Coastal Zone Management and National Aquaculture Acts before ordering DBOC to close. Federal compliance with these Acts is important since DBOC produces 30% or more of the Pacific oysters grown in California.
Although adverse in other respects, the Ninth Circuit decision on the DBOC appeal held that the Secretary of the Interior did not have “unfettered discretion” to deny DBOC a permit to cultivate shellfish in Drakes Estero. This opened the door to a suit to require the Secretary to comply with these Acts.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
DBOC represents the continuation of a California tradition. Since the 1930’s thousands of Californians have made the trek to Drakes Bay to purchase oysters. The company’s oysters have long been featured in restaurants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. [Click on images below to view Bay Area and Drakes Estero]
The Drakes Bay cases are about more than just preserving a California tradition, it’s a statewide food security issue as well. DBOC has been responsible for thirty or more of the state’s oyster production; forcing the company out of business would mean that the state could only make up the lost production by importing from overseas.
In early July, Kevin Lunny announced that DBOC would close its retail sales shop, picnic grounds and cannery on July 31 in accord with the Secretary’s November 29, 2012 order. Plaintiffs quickly brought suit to prevent federal defendants from forcing DBOC to shut down. Plaintiffs and other San Francisco Bay Area restaurants depend on DBOC’s production capacity that provides up to 85% of the San Francisco Bay area’s supply of fresh local oysters. The federal decision to halt shellfish cultivation in Drakes Estero carries serious repercussions.
Not only a threat to San Francisco Bay Area’s world famous farm-to-table movement, shutting down shellfish production in Drakes Estero will have a ripple effect. DBOC and the oyster farm workers are an integral part of the community fabric. If the oyster farm is forced to close and the oyster workers lose their housing and move to other areas, it will have a significant negative impact on the local schools, the local church, and countless businesses, shops and restaurants. The loss of these jobs will mean upheaval for over 40 family members and there will be much collateral damage from such a large change in a small rural community.
VIDEO – NPS Efforts
The National Park Service (NPS) is trying to remove a beloved oyster farm in Drakes Estero, misrepresenting both science and history. Visit SaveDrakesBay.com for more details.
NPS has leveled false charges of environmental harm against an upstanding family business, and has falsely claimed that its policies require the historic oyster farm to be removed. The truth about the Drakes Bay Oyster controversy is that this historic oyster farm is part of the working landscape the Seashore was formed to protect. The Lunnys, a third-generation Point Reyes ranching family, purchased the oyster farm in 2004 and have been superb stewards of the land and water. Read more about the Lunny family here.
Want to help AND claim a tax deduction?
The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit [EIN 52-2193975], is accepting donations of $1,000 or more as tax-deductible contributions to go toward litigation expenses in the lawsuit filed by Citizens of DBOC.
Checks and money orders made payable to “The Weston A. Price Foundation” need to be earmarked “FTCLDF – Drakes Bay 2” in the memo line; these donations can be mailed to:
Weston A. Price Foundation
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Questions? Call 703-208-3276 or email [email protected]