Save our Tomales Bay – Part 21 Leasewalk M430-15, M-430-10 of Hog Island Oysters

Click the words above “Save our Tomales Bay Part 21 Leasewalk M430-15…” to see this entire post.

On 22 March I paid a visit to the large lease operated by Hog Island Oysters (HIO) near Tom’s Point (lease M-430-15), and another Hog Island lease at the mouth of Walker Creek (lease M-430-10).

I’ve been mostly sharing findings on the leases run by Tomales Bay Oyster Company (TBOC) due to the ease of access to the southern lease, as well as because their leases are some of the messiest places on the bay.

Getting to the far north lease of HIO takes more time and energy, so I don’t get there too often.

Often I am asked by people “What about Hog Island? Do they make as big a mess as TBOC?)

My usual response is “All the growers make a mess, HIO makes the least mess from what I can tell.”

Until now, I thought TBOC and crew were the only culprits when it came to cutting and dropping zip-ties into the bay during harvest. I found 54 zip-ties on this day along a very short section of shore, with only moderate effort.

As you can see from the images below, HIO has room to improve their methods.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

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Green polygon depicts Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15, near Tom's Point. Red arrow points to location where abandoned grow-out bags were left on 22 March. Each yellow pin shows location of abandoned grow-out bag. T21 is where I reattached 3 bags of live oysters to anchor line.

Green polygon depicts Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15, near Tom’s Point. Red arrow points to location where abandoned grow-out bags were left on 22 March. Each yellow pin shows location of abandoned grow-out bag. T21 is where I reattached 3 bags of live oysters to anchor line.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bag hauled out on Pierce Point (PRNS) on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bag hauled out on Pierce Point (PRNS) on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned??? Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags on lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned??? Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags on lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags on lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags on lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned??? oyster grow-out bag on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned??? oyster grow-out bag on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster grow-out bag on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster grow-out bag on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster grow-out bag on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster grow-out bag on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned ??? oyster grow-out bags on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned ??? oyster grow-out bags on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned oyster rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Recovered bags with live oysters, now reattached on lease M-430-15, see waypoint T21 on map at top of post.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Recovered bags with live oysters, now reattached on lease M-430-15, see waypoint T21 on map at top of post.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Pisaster ocreceus that was inside a nearly empty, mostly buried in mud, bag of dead manilla clams

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Pisaster ocreceus that was inside a nearly empty, mostly buried in mud, bag of dead manilla clams

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags (with live oysters) collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned Hog Island Oysters grow-out bags (with live oysters) collected adjacent to lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Stanway oyster racks and abandoned rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Stanway oyster racks and abandoned rack lumber on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Stanway oyster racks on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Stanway oyster racks on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Stanway oyster racks on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Stanway oyster racks on Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-10 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties, rope remnants, float, grow-out bag remnants, PVC pipe remnants, collected from shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 and Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease M-430-04 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties, rope remnants, float, grow-out bag remnants, PVC pipe remnants, collected from shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 and Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease M-430-04 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties, rope remnants, float collected from shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties, rope remnants, float collected from shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties & rope remnants, float collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties & rope remnants, float collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned rope remnants collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned rope remnants collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Abandoned zip-ties collected on shore adjacent to Hog Island Oysters lease M-430-15 on 22 March, 2015

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 20, Tomales Bay Oyster Company ushers in new era in responsible oyster farming

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Over the past two years I’ve been boating the waters and walking the shore of Tomales Bay cleaning up all the trash I find, most of it from the oyster farmers.

I’ve focused on TBOC given my proximity to their ~160 acre southern lease and their proclivity to make a mess. Soon you will be seeing reports showcasing the activities of the other growers of Tomales Bay.

In the meantime, I am very pleased to share images of a very positive change of events.

One of my big gripes of the oyster farmers is how they blame messes on the prior leaseholder.

I’ve been gently suggesting to the owner of TBOC for some time that it would be a good idea to remove the thousands of PVC tubes and hundreds of rusting re-bar racks that sit idle, an unsightly testament to the past.

Well, Saturday while out for my weekly walk of the shore near to the TBOC retail site, a longtime TBOC worker showed me how he had removed two rows of rusting racks. A very time-consuming, but welcome effort.

There are hundreds of racks left to remove on the southern TBOC lease, as well as hundreds more up at Walker Creek on other growers’, leases.

But, this is a HUGE and welcome effort by TBOC and I want to thank them and encourage them to keep at it.

Thank you TBOC. Tomales Bay thanks you, the flora and fauna of Tomales Bay thank you, and I hope the people of West Marin thank you for cleaning up what has been a blight on the bay for nearly two decades.

See this post for the area I am speaking of.

Here are some images of a portion of the TBOC southern lease area that needs to be cleaned up.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org Debris from the Drew Alden era of farming this lease. There are many scores of rigs just like this, littering the bottom of Tomales Bay.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
Debris from the Drew Alden era of farming this lease. There are many scores of rigs just like this, littering the bottom of Tomales Bay.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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Now for some of the cleanup work going on to right this wrong.

See the video and stills below of the progress being made.


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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org plastic wrapped high-density blue foam floats that disintegrate and foul Tomales Bay, and the oceans of the world, destined for the landfill.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
plastic wrapped high-density blue foam floats that disintegrate and foul Tomales Bay, and the oceans of the world, destined for the landfill.

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©Richard James - coastodian.org rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

©Richard James – coastodian.org
rebar racks that have blighted Tomales Bay for 25 years, on their way to the recycle center.

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 18.5, Walker Creek mess, much progress

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

On 22 March I once again visited the oyster lease area at the mouth of Walker Creek in Tomales Bay.

I am pleased to report that much work has taken place and the amount of debris is significantly less. There are still many large diameter PVC pipes of unknown length in the channel, as well as shell-filled oyster bags to recover, though it seems these too will be removed.

This short video will show you the status of this structure as of 22 March, 2015.

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Here is a view of the structure as I am drifting down Walker Creek channel.

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What follows are some stills of the area that is being returned to a natural state.

As always, click on an image to see it larger.

Area of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

Area of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

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mostly submerged PVC tubes and shell-filled growout bags at area of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

mostly submerged PVC tubes and shell-filled growout bags at area of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

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pile of PVC tubes at area of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

pile of PVC tubes at area of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

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South end of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

South end of unpermitted structure in Tomales Bay at Walker Creek

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 18.4, Walker Creek mess, progress continues

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Yesterday (14 March) I once again visited the oyster lease area at the mouth of Walker Creek in Tomales Bay.

This short video will show you the status of this structure as of 14 March, 2015.

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Here is another view from my boat as I drifted by it, Pierce Point Ranch is seen in the background along with Pierce Point.

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As always, click an image to see a larger version

TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek - Tomales Bay

TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek – Tomales Bay

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TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek - Tomales Bay

TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek – Tomales Bay

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TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek - Tomales Bay

TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek – Tomales Bay

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TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek - Tomales Bay

TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek – Tomales Bay

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PVC tubes from TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek - Tomales Bay

PVC tubes from TBOC unpermitted dike on Walker Creek – Tomales Bay

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 19, Abandoned oyster bags, same as it ever was

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Last week, in addition to monitoring the progress of the removal of the illegal dike along Walker Creek as it enters Tomales Bay, I engaged in a regular activity when boating on Tomales Bay, picking up abandoned oyster grow-out bags.

This day I found nearly fifty. The map below shows where I found the bags this day, as well as where I left them piled up (see red arrows).

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coastodian cleanup map from 2015.03.06

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A map showing the location of the bags where found, as well as where I stacked them so that the growers might come out and recover them will be posted here on Friday [I neglected to upload it along with the images of the trash].

The images that follow show that many of these bags have been there for weeks, or months. One sees pickleweed or salt grass growing through the bag, holding it tightly in place, where, if it were not for me to yank it out of the vegetation, it would likely become part of the environment forever.

This speaks to the urgent need of the growers to do weekly patrols of their leases and a large area near the leases to recover the scores and scores of bags that go missing each week.

The banner image shows the many pieces of plastic coated wire carelessly dropped to the mud after serving the needs of the short-sighted oyster farmer. Note that the plastic insulation has begun disintegrating. This plastic will eventually enter the food chain of the very oysters being raised.

You can see a larger version of the wire image below. These wires were collected in less than 15 minutes as I walked along two rows of rusting iron racks that once held oysters in place to feed on the algae. These two rows were a fraction of the total rows of racks. So what you see is a tiny fraction of the plastic coated copper wire dropped as so much litter. These racks are located in the area leased by Point Reyes Oyster Company, lease M-430-17.

As always, click an image to see a larger version.

long ago abandoned grow-out bag

long ago abandoned grow-out bag

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bundle of 17 bags abandoned north of Walker Cr., east of Preston Point

bundle of 17 bags abandoned north of Walker Cr., east of Preston Point

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bundle of 17 bags abandoned north of Walker Cr., east of Preston Point

bundle of 17 bags abandoned north of Walker Cr., east of Preston Point

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Stanway rack board, I find these all over Tomales Bay, used primarily by Hog Island Oysters

Stanway rack board, I find these all over Tomales Bay, used primarily by Hog Island Oysters

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Abandoned 25" TV tube, full of lead

Abandoned 25″ TV tube, full of lead

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TV inner workings

TV inner workings

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TV inner workings

TV inner workings

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RJames-1397

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RJames-1398

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RJames-1399

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RJames-1400

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RJames-1401

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RJames-1402

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RJames-1403

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deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

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deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

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deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

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deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

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deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

deteriorating plastic-coated copper wire recovered from Point Reyes Oyster Company lease

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This bundle of Tomales Bay Oyster Company bags was found a 1/2 mile up Walker Creek buried in the mud mid-channel, east of the Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease

This bundle of Tomales Bay Oyster Company bags was found a 1/2 mile up Walker Creek buried in the mud mid-channel, east of the Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease

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IMG_1382.cw

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 Tomales Bay Oyster Company workers leave these hay hooks all over the place in Tomales Bay, I find them in the mud, rusted in half, or whole like this one

Tomales Bay Oyster Company workers leave these hay hooks all over the place in Tomales Bay, I find them in the mud, rusted in half, or whole like this one

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PVC pipe, grow-out bag and rope collected on or near the Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease

PVC pipe, grow-out bag and rope collected on or near the Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease

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PVC pipe, grow-out bag and rope collected on or near the Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease

PVC pipe, grow-out bag and rope collected on or near the Tomales Bay Oyster Company lease

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PVC pipes, nearly buried in the mud. The TBOC leases have these pipes in varying states of buried-ness ALL OVER their leases.

PVC pipes, nearly buried in the mud. The TBOC leases have these pipes in varying states of buried-ness ALL OVER their leases.

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RJames-1404

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RJames-1405

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RJames-1406

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RJames-1407

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RJames-1408

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RJames-1409

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RJames-1410

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Abandoned bag, buried in the mud. There are likely thousands of these buried beneath the mud surface

Abandoned bag, buried in the mud. There are likely thousands of these buried beneath the mud surface

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RJames-1412

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Abandoned bag, buried in the mud. There are likely thousands of these buried beneath the mud surface

Abandoned bag, buried in the mud. There are likely thousands of these buried beneath the mud surface

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 18.3, Walker Creek mess, some progress

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Yesterday (6 March) I once again visited the oyster lease area at the mouth of Walker Creek in Tomales Bay.

Prior to reaching the site of an unpermitted structure that has been altering the natural flow of Walker Creek for years, I was blessed with the sight of hundreds of marbled godwits, seasoned with some willets and sanderlings.

There is evidence of progress in the cleanup, which is good.

There is also evidence that the scope of this egregious misuse of the public commons is greater than even I imagined.

The number of plastic grow-out bags used to form a channel moving dike is uncountable. The bags and PVC pipe used to anchor them go on forever into the channel they have harassed for years.

Let’s hope that Tomales Bay Oyster Company keeps at it and quickly removes this pox on an industry whose welcome is teetering on the edge of worn out in some quarters.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

IMG_0282.cw

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IMG_0283.cw

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IMG_0284.cw

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IMG_0285.cw

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IMG_0286.cw

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IMG_0288.cw

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IMG_0287.cw

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 18.2, Walker Creek mess, DEconstruction

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Yesterday (28 Feb) I once again visited the oyster lease area at the mouth of Walker Creek in Tomales Bay.

For a number of years, one of the five growers in Tomales Bay (Tomales Bay Oyster Company), has been building unpermitted structures with the aim of deflecting the flow of Walker Creek (and the e. coli-laden mud) away from the area of public lands they lease for the purpose of growing oysters. It is my understanding the neighboring leaseholders have not been too happy about this activity. If mother-earth could speak with a human voice, I wonder what she would say?

NOAA issued a permit so that TBOC could legally deconstruct what I would call the most egregious of these structures I have seen with my very own eyes.


This is the state of the “dike” on 28 February, 2015 240 PM

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What follows are still images of the same dike area.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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©Richard James - coastodian.org

©Richard James – coastodian.org

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 18.1, Walker Creek mess, construction

Click the words “Save our Tomales Bay…..” above to see this entire post.

Yesterday I paid a visit to the mouth of Walker Creek where it enters Tomales Bay.

There are 4 growers that extract profits in the form of oysters in this area.

Storms regularly rip their equipment out and paint it all over Tomales Bay, and the entire ocean.

These bags become lodged in the mud and pickleweed and are buried, to be ground into plastic bits forever.

The farmers must walk these areas every month, if not more often, to ensure the mess they make gets cleaned up before being buried in the mud and pickleweed.

The regulating agencies must exercise their authority and ensure that laws are being observed, fining those that continue to break the laws enacted to protect the environment.


This post will be updated, so come back to see more of the damage caused to our fragile planet by oyster farming.

Volume warning, turn your sound down

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Whose job is it anyhow….?

Click the words above “Whose job is it anyhow….?” to see this entire post.

Can anyone tell me whose job is it to ensure that the mess left by The Drakes Bay Oyster Company gets cleaned up?

I’ve asked people at the California Coastal Commission, Department of Fish & Wildlife and the National Park Service this very question. Twice!

I’ve not heard a peep from anyone, after nearly two weeks.

It seems important to find out whose job it is. In the past, when oyster leases changed hands in West Marin, or operations shut down, big messes get left – see images below.

All those years profits being made, and every time, the earth gets left holding the [grow-out]bag, [polyethylene]tube, [nylon]rope, [PVC]pipe, zip-tie etc….

As always, click on a picture to see a larger version.

Sustainable oyster farming, West Marin style. Click image to see larger version.

Sustainable oyster farming, West Marin style.
Click image to see larger version.


Above is what Charlie Johnson (and now Kevin Lunny) want to gift to the planet.
No thanks, please clean up YOUR mess.

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Oyster farming trash left on the floor of Drakes Estero by Drakes bay Oyster Company

Oyster farming trash left on the floor of Drakes Estero by Drakes bay Oyster Company

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Thousands of feral non-native oysters left growing in Drakes Estero by DBOC

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Some of the hundreds, likely thousands of “french tubes” left to rot on the floor of Drakes Estero by DBOC.

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Some of the hundreds, likely thousands of “french tubes” left to rot on the floor of Drakes Estero by DBOC.

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Some of the hundreds, likely thousands of “french tubes” left to rot on the floor of Drakes Estero by DBOC.

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One string of oysters covered with non-native, invasive tunicate D. vexilium. There are many dozens, possibly hundreds more just like this, left in Drakes Estero by DBOC.

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Above are iron oyster racks, likely from Drew Alden, left in the southern Tomales Bay lease now operated by Todd Friend at TBOC.
No thanks, please clean up YOUR mess.

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abandoned plastic trays - Tomales Bay Oyster Company

abandoned plastic trays – Tomales Bay Oyster Company


Above was left when Drew Alden sold his lease to Todd Friend over 5 years ago.
Why is this mess still disgracing Tomales Bay?

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abandoned grow out bags covered with marine growth - Tomales Bay Oyster Company

abandoned grow out bags covered with marine growth – Tomales Bay Oyster Company


Above was left when Drew Alden sold his lease to Todd Friend over 5 years ago.
Why is this mess still disgracing Tomales Bay?

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Location -  38.128490° N   -122.864172° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.128490° N -122.864172° W Datum WGS84


Not sure who so generously left this mess in Tomales Bay.
No thanks, please clean up YOUR mess.

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On the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, north of Walker Creek you’ll find this mess from oyster operations begun and abruptly ended decades ago.
Why is this mess still disgracing Tomales Bay?

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On the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, north of Walker Creek you’ll find this mess from oyster operations begun and abruptly ended decades ago.
Why is this mess still disgracing Tomales Bay?

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On the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, north of Walker Creek you’ll find this mess from oyster operations begun and abruptly ended decades ago.
Why is this mess still disgracing Tomales Bay?

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If people want to make an honest buck farming oysters, that is fine by me. It is hard work, no question about that. But, taking shortcuts, short-sighted business practices and just plain arrogance has been trashing the planet.

The disgraceful disaster scattered on the bottom of the thousand acre lease of precious Drakes Estero is at zero to ten feet below sea level usually.

We now have an opportunity to see the stewards of the land, with a deep respect for the waters of Drakes Estero show us just how deep their respect is.

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Save our Tomales Bay – part 17, TBOC gets after it in a big way

Click on the words above “Save our Tomales Bay – part 17, TBOC gets after it in a big way” to see this entire post.

As you may have noticed if you’ve been keeping up with the Series “Save our Tomales Bay…”, I have a big problem with people that trash the planet. Same goes for companies that those people often hide behind in the courts.

Apparently Todd and his crew at Tomales Bay Oyster Company do too!

The images below, recorded on 16 May, show the latest of a few big days where the TBOC staff made time to pick up the mess left behind by a previous oyster farmer whose lease they purchased.

Todd tells me he has removed over 3000 of the PVC pipes you see in the images. He likely has several thousand more to go. He tells me he plans to remove those soon. And I believe him.

Kudos to the TBOC crew for their efforts at being a good steward of the very bay they depend upon for their livelihood. The same bay that hundreds, perhaps thousands of species called home long before humans decided to complicate matters with all our trash.

Oyster farmers in California pay into an escrow account when they lease an area. Those funds were designed to be used to pay for cleanup under certain conditions. The problem as I see it is, that fund is inaccessible due to complicated rules. So, the cleanup that should be taking place, especially when leases change hands, never happens. Witness the messes we see in Tomlaes Bay, Drakes Estero and all along the Marin coast, thanks to Johnson’s oysters [now Drakes Bay Oyster Company].

I plan to work with the Fish & Wildlife Commission to change the language in the lease agreement so that no more of these messes get left behind. More on that later.

If the people pushing the California Shellfish Initiative want to expand oyster farming up and down the coast of California, they best get on board with lease agreements that have teeth, stopping all the finger pointing between present and past lease owners over who made the mess. Better yet, define best practices for all oyster farmers such that the mess does NOT get made in the first place.

Anyone that wants a copy of the current lease agreement in use, and is willing to help modify the language to ensure a clean California coast, send me a note and I’ll send you a copy.

As always, click on an image to see a much larger version.

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.