The accusatory environmental narrative leveled at the oyster farm is essentially identical to the one put forward by the Friends against homeowners here. Funny how that is, don't you think?
Back in September, everyone was waiting for Interior Secretary Salazar to make his decision on whether to shut down the oyster farm or let it continue operating. His decision came down today: he is ordering the shut-down and removal of the oyster farm, which has been in the Estero for about 90 years.
A few posts back, we heard Nick Jones, one of our local oyster farmers, call shellfish farming "perhaps the most environmentally positive form of food production on the planet" because, among other reasons, filter feeders actually cleanse the water. We also heard Nick say that to expand his operation, it will require $30,000 in permit fees ... and that's before the new requirements of the Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs) and Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) go into effect.
I don't think ordinary citizens quite understand the magnitude of the bureaucratic discretion, or the extent of the overlapping jurisdictions, or the multiplicity of environmental watchdogs that exist today. An alphabet soup of laws, agencies, and interests groups are watching every environmental move we make. When I hear citizens say that the San Juans are unprotected, or when they suggest parallels between today and the anything-goes days in which Rachel Carson lived, I have to wonder what rock they have been sleeping under? Just a partial list of pertinent environmental organizations and laws would include CAO, SMP, GMA, CWA, SDWA, NPDES, PSP, AAOG/LIO, EPA, DOH, CDPD, WDFW, DFW, Ecology, Tribes, Stewardship Network, Friends, and on ... and on ... and on.
As the Drakes Estero Oystergate affair shows, if "they" can't find a real reason to condemn you, they are not above drumming up a fake one. Every person in the San Juans needs to know about Oystergate. Here is what Senator Dianne Feinstein said about Salazar's decision.
The National Park Service’s review process has been flawed from the beginning with false and misleading science.For more information, read the Washington Post article and/or watch the video below. The video is especially good. I strongly encourage you to watch it. If you have difficulty viewing the embedded video, you can view it at this link. The related blog is here. You won't believe the parallels to our CAOs and SMP.