drakes estero

Oyster farm cleanup puts Drakes Estero on way to marine wilderness | LA Times

From the LA Times (and here’s the link to the story).

In the clear waters of Drakes Estero, where decades of farmers had groomed crops of sought-after oysters, flecks of yellowed plastic foam broken off a timeworn floating barge bobbed like misplaced snowflakes.

It’s the aftermath of a years-long legal battle between the oyster farmer and the National Park Service, which fought to reclaim and restore the bay. The park service prevailed — after spending millions of dollars in scores of lawsuits that ended at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The park is now undertaking an uncommon enterprise — returning a working landscape to its primitive state. It’s expensive work that must be completed before the West Coast’s first marine wilderness can be unveiled to the public.

“Nature will take over, but we have to do some restoration to help it get there,” said Point Reyes superintendent Cicely Muldoon. “We have to give natural processes a fighting chance.”

“When we are finished, visitors will have a phenomenal experience,” she added.

The waters of the Estero will become only the second marine wilderness in the national park system, joining Alaska’s Glacier Bay.