Drakes Bay Oyster Farm closes

If asked what defines you as an individual, what would you say? In today’s culture self-expression and individualism is highly valued. Individualism in particular is ideal to reach.  A majority of society is trying to be different from everyone else; the whole hipster trend is an example of individualism. 

What makes me different? This is something that I had to think long and hard about. The things that first come to mind for me are my morals, spiritual and religious beliefs, the food I eat, life style in general and so much more. All of this forms who I am as a person, and what is important to me. At our core is our beliefs and culture; this is the foundation of who we are as a person.  

Personally the way I was raised plays a huge factor in my individualism. I grew up in the Polynesian culture, and an immense part of that is the heritage behind it. It is the traditions passed down through generations that keep it alive. Everything about me is directly linked to my heritage.  Heritage is the foundation to me as a person and an individual.  

Three weeks ago the Federal Government shut down the locally owned and operated Drakes Bay Oyster Farm located in Point Reyes after a long protracted legal battle. The end result of this legal case was the closing of an almost century old piece of history, business and thriving mariculture farm that supported most of the west coast. 

Heritage being at the foundation of what makes me the individual I am, makes me sick to see a whole community losing the foundation of who they are.

 This small thriving business being forced to close its doors is saddening, especially in a time when too big to fail businesses are being bailed out by the government. It doesn’t make sense to shut down the Drakes Bay Oyster Farm. Why close a business that is ingrained in its community and a huge suppler of food for the west coast?

Not only is this town losing this great piece of history; California is losing a productive Oyster Farm. With this business gone, we will be importing more Oysters from Washington and other non-local locations. California is losing 30% of its shellfish market. Food prices are already on the rise, and with the closing of local Farms we will be forced to look elsewhere for food. Is it our government’s goal to end up importing everything from China and other countries? This is a loss of a natural sustainable food source. If not outraged for the loss of a piece of history, we should be outraged at the loss of a plentiful food source.

While the closing of the Drakes Bay Oyster Farm has been linked predominantly to the claim that the oysters are causing damage to the surrounding environment. Environmentalists have stated that oysters actually work to clean and remove plankton and organic particles from the water. Oysters can actually filter up to 50 gallons of water a day; this improves the waters quality and clarity. 

The heritage of Point Reyes is slowly being ripped away. Where a town that once thrived off the land and its waters, will now been taken over by tour bus’ showing where everything once was. This town is slowly losing its individuality. It’s become a ghost town, a museum no longer productive. It’s the small business ran and operated by active community members that keep this town alive.  

Preservation of loss of local business is what we need to focus on to help keep Point Reyes alive. This small town will fail in its productivity and become history if something is not done. This town losing a part of its heritage is a tragedy. Point Reyes is slowly losing its individuality with the closing of the Drakes Bay Oyster Farm.