Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) Special Use Permit (SUP). The draft EIS is available for public review, but the public comment period closed on December 9, 2011.
Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore - September 26, 2011. (147 KB PDF)
The draft EIS explores a range of alternatives, including a no-action alternative under which DBOC's existing authorizations would expire on November 30, 2012 and subsequent conversion of Drakes Estero to full wilderness. Under the three action alternatives, the Secretary of Interior would exercise his discretion to issue a new 10-year SUP to DBOC to for commercial oyster operations in Drakes Estero through November 30, 2022. The action alternatives consider differing levels of onshore facilities and infrastructure and offshore operations. At this time, there is not a preferred alternative. Full and objective input from the public is encouraged on all of the alternatives analyzed in the Draft EIS. All public comments received on the Draft EIS will be evaluated and considered in the development of the preferred alternative which will be identified in the Final EIS.
The goal of the public comment period was to gather comments from individuals, groups, and agencies regarding the adequacy of the draft EIS in addressing the purpose, need and objectives, environmental issues of concern, and the sufficiency of the overall analysis.
PROJECT PURPOSE AND NEED
Action is needed at this time because pursuant to section 124 of Public Law 111-88, the Secretary has the discretionary authority to issue a SUP for a period of 10 years to DBOC for its shellfish operation, which consists of commercial production, harvesting, processing, and sale of shellfish at Point Reyes National Seashore. The existing RUO and SUP held by DBOC will expire on November 30, 2012. DBOC has submitted a request for the issuance of a new permit upon expiration of the existing authorizations.
The purpose of the document is to use the NEPA process to engage the public and evaluate the effects of issuing a SUP for the commercial shellfish operation. The results of the NEPA process will be used to inform the decision of whether a new SUP should be issued to DBOC for a period of 10 years.
This Draft EIS evaluates four alternatives:
Alternative A. No New Special Use Permit - Conversion to Wilderness (No Action)
Alternative B. Issue New Special Use Permit - Existing Onshore Facilities and Infrastructure and Offshore Operations Would be Allowed for a Period of 10 Years
Alternative C. Issue New Special Use Permit - Onshore Facilities and Infrastructure and Offshore Operations Present in 2008 Would be Allowed for a Period of 10 Years
Alternative D. Issue New Special Use Permit - Expanded Onshore Development and Offshore Operations Would be Allowed for a Period of 10 Years
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Download the Letter to Interested Parties (61 KB PDF) announcing the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment.
Getting a Copy of the Draft EIS
The comment period closed on Friday, December 9, 2011.
Comments were accepted by the following methods:
Please note that comments were not be accepted by FAX, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others were not be accepted. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
During the comment period the National Park Service held three open house public meetings to gather your comments on the Draft EIS. The meetings were scheduled as follows:
Tuesday October 18, 2011, 6-8 p.m.
A Spanish language interpreter will be present at each of the above meetings.
Sign language interpreters, as well as agendas in large print, Braille or audio formats can be made available by request at least TWO WEEKS prior to the meeting.
Did You Know?
Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) began breeding at Point Reyes in 1981 after being absent for over 150 years. The population breeds at terrestrial haul out sites at Point Reyes Headland, one of only eleven mainland breeding areas for northern elephant seals in the world. More...