In a victory for environmentalists and a dismal defeat for foodies and oyster lovers, Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has been ordered by the Feds to shut down on Friday, permanently and forever.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a decision Thursday morning saying that the 1,300 acres utilized for shellfish farming by Drakes Bay Oyster Co. and their predecessors for more than a century will return to a state of wilderness:
“Carrying out steps set in motion by the United States Congress over three decades ago, we are taking the final step to recognize this pristine area as wilderness.”
If you eat oysters, it’s nearly certain you’ve eaten oysters from Drakes Bay. The Drakes Bay Oyster Co. had produced 40 percent of oysters eaten in California, or about five million each year.
One person who won’t miss the slimy savoryness of Drakes Bay oysters is Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. He said in a statement that the Obama administration did what was best for the area’s ecosystem:
“The National Park Service rightly concluded in its study that the oyster factory is damaging the national park; full wilderness protection is the best way to preserve this fragile area.”