Sonoma takes unexpected stand on Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

Situated about 50 miles from Drakes Estero in Marin County, the landlocked city of Sonoma would seem an unlikely place to take a stand in an oyster company's fight for survival.

But colorful signs supporting the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. have popped up all over town, and the Sonoma City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on state and federal legislators to intervene on the company's behalf.

The city's resolution cites the "heroic efforts" by Kevin and Nancy Lunny to keep their oyster company going in Drakes Estero, a 2,500-acre federally protected estuary in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Sonoma leaders consider the company a sterling example of sustainable agriculture and the kind of environmental leadership the city of 10,000 residents promotes.

Councilwoman Laurie Gallian said the case highlights "what is being done to (a) small farmer without due process." If the city failed to act, "we would be very lax in our ability to set policy and lead communities," she said.

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