The effects of the oyster farm on the bay are in dispute. The Lunny family says the operation has had a "positive impact," while the California Coastal Commission has complained that the farm littered the water with plastic and disturbed harbor seals with motorboats.
On Monday, Cause of Action sent out a press release with the following statement from Kevin Lunny:
We have been a dedicated small family farm for four generations in the West Marin community and when we purchased Drakes Bay Oyster Company seven years ago, we saw an opportunity to revive a part of our community that would provide local jobs, sustainable products for local businesses, and a positive long-term impact on the Bay itself.
The National Park Service has not just shut down our business, but has misrepresented the law, our contracts with the State of California, and the results of scientific studies.
Our family business is not going to sit back and let the government steam roll our community, which has been incredibly supportive of us. We are exploring possible responses to the National Park Service and will be taking legal action against them soon. We are not walking away, instead we are fighting for our community, our employees, and our family against a federal government that seems to value lies over the truth and special interests over the welfare of a community.
And last Friday, KQED Science's Lauren Sommer talked to Kevin Lunny, who said the following:
"We're devastated, we're horribly disappointed. I was at the farm when I received a call from the Secretary of the Interior. Secretary Salazar told me of his decision… We had to deliver that message to our 30+ workers... To think that this is the end of an 80+ year tradition of producing food for the Bay Area, hosting visitors as a destination, the history and the culture of a coastal community coming to an end, losing these people in our schools and our churches…they're losing they're homes, too. …this is a devastating blow that will resound for a very long time in West Marin."
When asked about the fact that he bought the operation knowing that renewal of the lease wasn't guaranteed, he said:
"We did our due diligence, and we saw that authorities that we were working under expired in 2012, just like any lease or any agreement has a beginning and ending date; but it's explicitly renewable… We had hoped that we could show this could be done right and they could exercise their right of renewal. We knew that it was possible they would do something like this, but we really didn't think it could actually happen."
You can listen to more from the edited interview here: