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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2009. Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12667.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

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

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

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern- ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its mem- bers, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advis- ing the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in pro- viding services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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

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 

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

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.

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

 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

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When Drakes Estero, which lies within the Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) about 25 miles northwest of San Francisco, California, was designated by Congress in 1976 as Potential Wilderness, it contained a commercial shellfish mariculture operation. Oyster mariculture began in Drakes Estero with the introduction of the nonnative Pacific oyster in 1932, and has been conducted continuously from that date forward. Hence, the cultural history of oyster farming predates the designation of Point Reyes as a National Seashore in 1962.

Nevertheless, with the approach of the 2012 expiration date of the current National Park Service (NPS) Reservation of Use and Occupancy (RUO) and Special Use Permit (SUP) that allows Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) to operate within the estero, NPS has expressed concern over the scope and intensity of impacts of the shellfish culture operations on the estero's ecosystem. Public debate over whether scientific information justifies closing the oyster farm led to the request for this study to help clarify the scientific issues raised with regard to the shellfish mariculture activities in Drakes Estero.

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