Conservationists say yes to oysters

11/23/2011

A leading local environmental group that previously opposed the operation of Drakes Bay Oyster Company past 2012 has announced its support of the business’ longevity, with caveats. Marin Conservation League President Susan Stompe said her organization endorses allowing the farm to operate at its current level of output for ten more years. “This is not something we are going to be right out in front of everyone leading the charge. It was a heavily split decision,” she said. “But we do feel [the farm] is a historic use and people frequent it, and that there can be more information there for visitors to learn how oysters grow.” Though other environmental groups in the area—including the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, Marin Audobon Society and Sierra Club Marin—continue to oppose any lease extension, the decision marks a turning point in the ongoing debate over the estero’s future, which has been framed at times as an either/or decision between agriculture and wilderness.