The Point Reyes Wilderness Act -- a 36 year old agreement to protect wildlife in the area -- is under commercial and special interest attack. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company wants to delay creation of the West Coast's only marine wilderness area by continuing a non-renewable operating permit that expires at the end of this month.
The company has been repeatedly cited by the California Coastal Commission for violating harbor seal protections, littering thousands of pieces of its plastic tubing into the Estero and marine environment, and continued unpermitted development.
The artificial oyster racks and non-native oysters used by the company facilitate the spread of highly invasive marine invaders -- including one that now jeopardizes the rare eelgrass habitat in the estuary.
Yet the company has denied responsibility for any ecological impacts. Help us stop profiteering at the expense of wildlife and send a letter to Secretary Salazar today urging him to protect the Point Reyes wilderness.
Dear Secretary Salazar,
Please end the commercial oyster lease in Drakes Estero within Point Reyes National Seashore and protect the only marine wilderness on the West Coast. The public strongly supports fulfilling the intent of Congress to protect this important estuary under the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act.
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Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore is one of our nation's most special places, and it must be protected for the benefit of all future generations. Commercial uses and impacts are incompatible with a National Park wilderness area.
Please uphold the four decade old agreement that granted wilderness protection to Drakes Estero and let the commercial oyster lease expire, as long-intended. Thirty-six years is more than enough time for the existing commercial oyster operation to transition. The impending wilderness designation comes as no surprise to anyone.
Please don't rewrite the rules for one company's private gain -- honor the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act and protect Drakes Estero as wilderness so that all Americans may enjoy this beautiful area in its natural state.
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