Report Nov 29, 2012

Research Regarding Drakes Estero Wilderness

Oyster mariculture in Drake’s Estero causes a number of environmental impacts.

Those that are most significant are the preemption of space by culture racks that results in the loss of about 8 acres of eelgrass, the damage to eelgrass beds by boating (propeller scars and channel scour), the provision of suitable habitat for exotic fouling species by placing mariculture infrastructure in the estero, the placement of bottom culture bags on harbor seal haul-out areas, and disturbance to harbor seals and birds from pedestrians and boats. Some impacts are not mitigable, but the negative effects of others can be significantly reduced.