DBOC Complaint – Court Stamped


Drakes Bay Oyster Company Lawsuit Filing

DBOC Complaint

Drakes Bay Oyster Company Promises to Fight National Park Service Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                CONTACT:

DECEMBER 3, 2012                                                                           Mary Beth Hutchins or Briton Bennett




“We are …fighting…against a federal government that seems to value lies over the truth and special interests over the welfare of a community,” – Kevin Lunny, owner, DBOC


MARIN COUNTY, CA – Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) Owner Kevin Lunny announces today a continued effort to fight for his family’s business that was shut down by the National Park Service on November 30.  Retaining the help of government accountability group Cause of Action as well as Stoel Rives LLP, DBOC released the following statement today from Kevin Lunny:

 “We have been a dedicated small family farm for four generations in the West Marin community and when we purchased Drakes Bay Oyster Company seven years ago, we saw an opportunity to revive a part of our community that would provide local jobs, sustainable products for local businesses, and a positive long-term impact on the Bay itself.

The National Park Service has not just shut down our business, but has misrepresented the law, our contracts with the State of California, and the results of scientific studies.

Our family business is not going to sit back and let the government steam roll our community, which has been incredibly supportive of us. We are exploring possible responses to the National Park Service and will be taking legal action against them soon.  We are not walking away, instead we are fighting for our community, our employees, and our family against a federal government that seems to value lies over the truth and special interests over the welfare of a community.”

Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein explained why his organization is dedicated to this fight:

“Cause of Action fights federal agencies every day that are abusing their power, ignoring law and procedure, and wasting taxpayer dollars. We aim to hold the National Park Service accountable for their treatment of the Lunny family and the Drakes Bay Oyster Company as we view their actions as a disregard for law and precedent that demands accountability. We are working with the Lunny family on the best legal strategies moving forward.”


About Cause of Action:

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. For more information, visit www.causeofaction.org.



To schedule an interview with Dan Epstein, Cause of Action’s Executive Director, contact Mary Beth Hutchins,  202-400-2721 or Briton Bennett, briton.bennett@causeofaction.org, at 202-499-4232.




An update about Drakes Bay Oyster Company

Over the past few months, Cause of Action has been working to make sure the Lunnys, a family who runs Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC), are able to keep their oyster business open. With less than 45 days until the deadline for a decision, there are several updates on this important issue.

Recently, Cause of Action submitted a response to the National Park Service to have the information contained in their reports accurately reflect the situation at the Lunnys’ environmentally responsible, sustainable oyster farm in Point Reyes National Park.

The Lunnys’ struggle against the National Park Service has also caught the attention of the California state Fish and Game commission, who recently sent a letter of support for the Lunnys to the National Park Service.

On November 30, 2012 the Lunnys’ permit to lease land from The National Park Service will expire. Before that date, NPS is required to issue a final report assessing the scientific findings concerning DBOC’s effect on Drakes Bay. We hope that the NPS uses credible data when they make a decision that will affect the livelihood of not just the Lunnys, but their employees, and the community as well.


As of May 24, 2013, Cause of Action no longer represents Drakes Bay Oyster Company, the Lunny family, or Dr. Corey Goodman and will be withdrawing as counsel from the litigation.

Data Quality Act Facts

Fact Sheet on DQA Complaint concerning the National Park Service

  • After substantial inaccuracies were identified in two publications published by the National Park Service (“NPS”) regarding Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s (“DBOC”) alleged impact on the environment, thereby threatening the reissuance of their operating permits, Dr. Corey Goodman and DBOC owners Kevin and Nancy Lunny and submitted a Complaint on Aug. 7, 2012 to NPS requesting corrections based on the grounds the information was scientifically flawed.
  • Relevant publications:
    • (1) Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit (the “DEIS,” which purports to analyze the environmental impact of DBOC)
    •  (2) March 2012 Atkins North America, Final Report on Peer Review of the Science Used in the National Park Service’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit (the “Atkins Report,” which assessed portions of the DEIS)
    • (3) Sept. 2012 Scientific Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit (the National Research Council’s “Scientific Review Report,” which reviewed the data and methods used in the DEIS and Atkins Report)
    • Since the Lunnys have a limited term permit allowing for the operation of DBOC, which will expire on Nov. 30, 2012, they requested an expedited correction to the errors in the DEIS and Atkins Report.
    • On Oct. 3, 2012 NPS responded to a Complaint filed by Cause of Action (CoA) on behalf of the Lunnys and Dr. Goodman.
    • On Oct. 16, 2012 CoA issued an administrative appeal letter to NPS rebutting their objections to our complaint.

Summary of new activity:

On Oct. 16, 2012, CoA submitted a letter to Margaret O’Dell at the National Park Service appealing the response from NPS on Oct. 3. Essentially, NPS continues to ignore the rules for how complaints should be handled and instead marches forward without regard for their false scientific data that could shut down a family business in the Bay area.

CoA argues that despite its claims to the contrary, NPS is statutorily obligated to consider the complaint, as it was submitted in accordance with the procedures prescribed by Director’s Order 11B. Under that order and the Information Quality Act, NPS is required to adhere to specified information-quality obligations. It has failed to do so and has inaccurately claimed that it possesses discretion over which proposed corrections it will address.

On November 30, 2012, the Lunny family faces the loss of their business due to the refusal of the NPS to correct the DEIS. Corrections based on accurate science would benefit DBOC, the Bay area, Drakes Estero, and ultimately, the Park Service itself.

110799462-Final-Administrative-Appeal-Letter-to-NPS (1)

CoA Letter Concerning Upcoming National Park Service Response

Today Cause of Action sent a letter to numerous members of Congress alerting them to the upcoming October 8 response due from the National Park Service to a Data Quality Act complaint that was filed on behalf of Drakes Bay Oyster Company and Dr. Corey Goodman.


See our letter here:

121004 Letter Re DQA Complaint


As of May 24, 2013, Cause of Action no longer represents Drakes Bay Oyster Company, the Lunny family, or Dr. Corey Goodman and will be withdrawing as counsel from the litigation.

SeafoodSource: Calif. oyster grower fights National Park Service

Read the full article here. Seafoodsource.com

“Cause of Action, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit dedicated to fighting federal overreach, today filed a Data Quality Act complaint before the National Park Service (NPS) for its intentional use of inaccurate, nontransparent and deliberately misleading information in an attempt to deny a renewable permit to a California family business for use of national park territory. Kevin and Nancy Lunny have a permit that allows their family business, Drakes Bay Oyster Co., to farm oysters in the Point Reyes National Seashore. When it expires in November, Drakes Bay, which has been operating for many years, will be forced to shut down and more than two dozen Californians will lose their jobs, thereby cutting off a substantial amount of the Bay Area’s commercial oyster supply.

“The National Park Service should not be allowed to get away with using bad data to justify closing a small business,” said Amber Abbasi, chief regulatory counsel at Cause of Action. “The evidence clearly shows how NPS, despite being called out by another federal agency and a credible member of the National Academy of Sciences, is using junk science to bully a family business into shutting down. We’ve sent a complaint to the NPS urging them to adhere to their own information-quality standards for the use of scientific information and correct the Final Environmental Impact Statement. NPS needs to make clear that a neutral scientific analysis reveals that DBOC does not adversely impact the environment in Drakes Estero.”