WHAT:  A hearing in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California to determine whether to grant a Preliminary Injunction and allow Drakes Bay Oyster Company to continue operations on their family farm.

After receiving news on November 29, 2012 from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar that their family-run oyster farm could no longer remain on National Park Service land, the Lunny family enlisted the help of Cause of Action, as well as Stoel Rives, LLP, SSL Law Firm, LLP, and Briscoe Ivester & Bazel, LLP, to help fight for their farm, family, and their community against the government’s abuse of authority.


On December 18, Cause of Action filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, which if granted, will allow Drakes Bay Oyster Company to remain in business until the merits of the National Park Service and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar decision to shut down the farm have been decided by the Court.



WHO:   Kevin Lunny, owner, Drakes Bay Oyster Company

Amber Abbasi, Chief Counsel for Regulatory Affairs at Cause of Action

Ryan Waterman, of Counsel at Stoel Rives, LLP
Peter Prows, Partner at Briscoe Ivester & Bazel, LLP

Cause of Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses investigative, legal, and communications tools to educate the public on how government accountability and transparency protects taxpayer interests and economic opportunity.



WHEN: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 2:00pm Pacific Time


WHERE: Oakland Courthouse, Courtroom 5 – 2nd Floor

1301 Clay Street, OaklandCA 94612


RSVP: This hearing is open to the media and the public. Cameras will not be allowed inside the courtroom.


To speak with Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Company or Amber Abbasi, Chief Counsel for Regulatory Affairs at Cause of Action, contact Mary Beth Hutchins,  202-400-2721 or Jamie Morris, jamie.morris@causeofaction.org, at






  1. I have to ask why it is that we grant drilling rights in Alaska to an oil company (that is unnecessary and definitely not “sustainable”), but we can’t continue an oyster farm that appears to be enhancing the environment of Drakes Bay (and is also supported by Seafood Watch)!

  2. Brian Stompe says

    Drakes Estero hasn’t been a wilderness for the past 5,000 years that man has inhabited the area harvesting shellfish, and for most of that time hunting seals and birds. Seals and birds are now protected and seals reside in near record numbers. Birds are unmolested and large numbers inhabit the area and migrate through. Calling the place a, “wilderness” will not result in one more seal or one more bird. Both seals and birds give minimal notice to the oyster operation that relates to only 2% of the estuary and is nearly invisable. Oysters help clean the water and eel grass has greatly increased the area it covers perhaps due to the improved clarity of the water that oyster culture provides.

    The area is surrounded by farming and there is a large Park Enterpretive center featuring refreshments and hosting an annual sand sculpter contest that draws thousands to the area.

    The entire area is enjoyed by thousands and surrounded by farms. It is by no means a, “wilderness”, and the Acadamy of Science has found that the Oyster Farm does not harm the function of the Estuary or the creatures that inhabit it.

    They also found that the extremeist groups wanting the Oyster Farm out used biased and dishonest science to support their case.

    The State of California has retained rights to fishing and aqua culture in the Estuary which should continue to be leased out as they have traditionally for over 80 years.

    Eliminating a healthy food source and 30 blue collar jobs at any time, but especially during a time of unemployment problems would be the maximum of Government stupidity. 86% of the people of Marin County in the IJ Newspaper poll want the Oyster Farm to stay.

    We support the injunction so the Oyster Farm can continue to function until the legal case is resolved or Salazar’s unwise pronouncement can be reversed in view of the faulty, biased “science” on which it was based.

    Thank you,

    Brian Stompe

  3. diana kunselman says

    This is bullying by our US Government. I have been to Drakes Bay and it is pristine and these people take very good care of the enviroment.

  4. Goatwell Farmd says

    Soooooo glad Ken Salazar is gone! Maybe the new Dept of Interior Secretary Jewell will intervene and stop the National Park Service’s legal “gaming” of the environment.
    Aquaculture is lauded for so many things important to the environment, restoration,protection from the Next “Sandy” and improving water quality. SHAME….SHAME ON THE PARKS SERVICE!