National Park Service to Initiate Public Process to Evaluate a 10-year Permit for Commercial Oyster Operations within Drakes Estero

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Date: September 22, 2010
Contact: Melanie Gunn, 415-464-5131

The National Park Service (NPS) announced that it will develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate potential issuance of a Special Use Permit for commercial oyster operations within Drakes Estero. This process follows recent legislation that allows the Secretary of Interior to issue a Special Use Permit for a period of 10 years. The existing Reservation of Use and Occupancy and associated Special Use Permit held by Drakes Bay Oyster Company expires in November 2012. 

The NPS anticipates completion of the environmental review process by summer 2012. Although this is a short timeline for completing an EIS, the NPS is committed to broad public engagement. Public outreach during all phases of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process will be critical, and will include web updates, newsletters, public meetings and media coverage. The NEPA process provides numerous opportunities for public participation over the next 21 months. 

The first opportunity for comment is during the initial scoping period anticipated for October 2010. The initial scoping will include public meetings, to be held in late October. The public will be encouraged to comment through a dedicated website on the purpose, need, objectives, or any other issues associated with potential issuance of a 10 year permit. Exact times and locations of these public scoping meetings will be announced soon.

-NPS-

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