Interior Secretary to decide CA oyster farm's fate

11/21/2012 10:30 AM
By Associated Press

POINT REYES STATION, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is on a fact-finding mission in Marin County to decide the fate of a family-run oyster farm operating in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Salazar is visiting the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. on Wednesday and meeting with environmentalists and National Park Service officials.

The Interior Secretary is expected to decide next week whether to allow the 70-year-old oyster farm to continue operating in the national seashore.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has ardently supported the farm, which produces nearly 40 percent of California's commercial oysters.

But environmentalists and park officials say the oyster company's practices threaten nearby harbor seals and threaten native species. They want the waters of Drakes Estero returned to wilderness.

The federal government has spent more than $1 million researching the issue.

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