Drakes Bay Oyster Company Endangered By Coastal Commission Crackdown

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For the past few years, Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes has been fighting off state regulators who've been threatening to shut down their oyster farming operation. The farm's federal lease on its coastal waters, which it's had since 1965, is set to expire at the end of this month, and the California Coastal Commission says Drakes has been violating state law in several ways through its operations namely by digging an illegal electrical trench, leaving behind plastic material, and operating boats in protected areas. Also, they say, Drakes has been operating without proper state permits since 2007. (You may recall, unrelatedly, that Drakes recently had to recall some oysters after some people were possibly sickened by them.) U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is set to make a decision soon as to whether Drakes may continue operations, or whether the area around Drakes Estero will become California's first protected marine wilderness. [EBX, Earlier]