Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Committee on Best Practices for Shellfish Mariculture and the Effects of Commercial Activities in Drakes Estero, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California Committee on Best Practices for Shellfish Mariculture and the Effects of Commercial Activities in Drakes Estero, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California Ocean Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Gov- erning Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engi- neering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. C8074080026 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Park Service. Any opinions, find - ings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-13898-7 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-13898-1 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON BEST PRACTICES FOR SHELLFISH MARICULTURE AND THE EFFECTS OF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES IN DRAKES ESTERO, PT. REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, CALIFORNIA CHARLES (PETE) H. PETERSON (Chair), University of North Carolina, Morehead City BARRY A. COSTA-PIERCE, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett BRETT R. DUMBAULD, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Newport, Oregon CAROLYN FRIEDMAN, University of Washington, Seattle EILEEN E. HOFMANN, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia HAUKE KITE-POWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts DONAL T. MANAHAN, University of Southern California, Los Angeles FRANCIS O’BEIRN, Marine Institute, Galway, Ireland ROBERT T. PAINE, University of Washington, Seattle PAUL THOMPSON, University of Aberdeen, Scotland ROBERT WHITLATCH, University of Connecticut, Groton Staff SUSAN ROBERTS, Study Director JODI BOSTROM, Associate Program Officer HEATHER CHIARELLO, Senior Program Assistant iv

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OCEAN STUDIES BOARD MARCIA K. MCNUTT (Chair), Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, California DONALD F. BOESCH, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge JORGE E. CORREDOR, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez KEITH R. CRIDDLE, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau MARY (MISSY) H. FEELEY, ExxonMobil Exploration Company, Houston, Texas DEBRA HERNANDEZ, Hernandez and Company, Isle of Palms, South Carolina ROBERT A. HOLMAN, Oregon State University, Corvallis KIHO KIM, American University, Washington, DC BARBARA A. KNUTH, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York ROBERT A. LAWSON, Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, California GEORGE I. MATSUMOTO, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, California JAY S. PEARLMAN, The Boeing Company (ret.), Port Angeles, Washington ANDREW A. ROSENBERG, University of New Hampshire, Durham DANIEL L. RUDNICK, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ANNE M. TREHU, Oregon State University, Corvallis PETER L. TYACK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts DAWN J. WRIGHT, Oregon State University, Corvallis JAMES A. YODER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts OSB Staff SUSAN ROBERTS, Director CLAUDIA MENGELT, Program Officer SUSAN PARK, Program Officer JODI BOSTROM, Associate Program Officer DEBORAH GLICKSON, Associate Program Officer SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator HEATHER CHIARELLO, Senior Program Assistant JEREMY JUSTICE, Program Assistant v

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Acknowledgments This report was greatly enhanced by the participants of the meeting held as part of this study. The committee would first like to acknowl - edge the efforts of those who gave presentations at meetings: Ben Becker (National Park Service), John Dixon (California Coastal Commission), Corey Goodman (Marshall, CA), Jonathan Jarvis (National Park Service), John Largier (Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory), Thomas Moore (Califor- nia Department of Fish and Game), Grey Pendleton (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), Steven Rumrill (South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve), and Susan Williams (Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory). These talks helped set the stage for fruitful discussions in the closed ses- sions that followed. The committee would like to thank Kevin and Nancy Lunny and Luis Armienta of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) for the tour of the oyster growing areas and processing facilities, as well as the overview of DBOC operations; David Press (National Park Service) for help with the map of Point Reyes National Seashore and the seal monitoring database; Tom Moore for oyster harvest data and photographs relating to oyster growing in Drakes Estero; Mike Beck for the photograph of Olympia oysters in British Columbia; and National Park Service personnel who assisted with meeting logistics and provided background material for the committee, including Sarah Allen, Ben Becker, John Dennis, David Graber, and Don Neubacher. The committee is also grateful to a number of people who provided important discussion and/or material for the preparation of this report: Gordon Bennett, Melissa Cichantek, Peter Douglas, Jon M. vii

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viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Erlandson, Corey Goodman, Ted Grosholz, Frances Gulland, John Hull, M.X. Kirby, Kent Lightfoot, Kevin and Nancy Lunny, Elizabeth Mathews, Robert Rheault, Anja Robinson, David Weiman, and Susan Williams. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with pro- cedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integ- rity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individu- als for their participation in their review of this report: Peter Boveng, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA William Dewey, Taylor Shellfish Company, Inc., Shelton, WA Matthew Elliot, Sea Change Investment Fund, San Francisco, CA David Fluharty, University of Washington, Seattle, WA Susan Ford, Rutgers University, Port Norris, NJ John Halver, University of Washington, Seattle WA Doug Lipton, University of Maryland, College Park, MD Marcia McNutt, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA Tom Moore, California Department of Fish and Game, Bodega Bay, CA Steve Rumrill, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Charleston, OR Sandra Shumway, University of Connecticut, Groton, CT Although the reviewers listed above have provided many construc- tive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the con- clusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Bonnie McCay, Rutgers University, appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, and W.L. Chameides, Duke University, appointed by the Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents Summary 1 Introduction to Drakes Estero 9 Historical Baselines and Human Modifications, 19 Ecological and Environmental Responses, 23 Benthic/Pelagic Coupling—Nutrients and Particulates 25 Eelgrass 30 Fish 35 Benthic Invertebrates in Soft Sediments 38 Harbor Seals 41 Nonnative Species 50 Birds 57 Human-Use Values—Economics, Recreation, and Aesthetics 61 Scientific Conclusions That Can Be Drawn 67 Accuracy of the Scientific Conclusions Released by NPS to the Public 71 How Scientific Conclusions Affected NPS Decision Making 80 References 88 Appendixes A Wilderness Status 105 B Full Statement of Task 114 ix

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x CONTENTS C Agenda: Meeting of the Committee on Best Practices for Shellfish Mariculture and the Effects of Commercial Activities in Drakes Estero, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California (September 4-5, 2008) 116 D Tabulated Summary of Reported Values of Harbor Seals Flushing Distances 118 E Shellfish High Health Program Guideline: A Voluntary Program for Producers of Live Shellfish 119 F Committee and Staff Biographies 124