What does the word wilderness evoke in your mind? A vast field, a dense forest, a body of water? If you’re an attorney, it may simply be a legal term. It turns out that how the law defines wilderness can be pretty significant for conservation efforts, for private enterprise, and for food production. Our first guest today on Sea Change Radio is Summer Brennan, whose recent book, The Oyster War, tells the story of a legal struggle concerning an oyster farm in Northern California. The case, hinges largely on the definition of wilderness, and made a bit of a splash, if you will, with Fox News and the Koch brothers. We delve into the history of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. and talk about the hostilities that ensued when the government tried to shut it down. Later, we revisit my discussion with Doug Woodring of the Ocean Recovery Alliance whose Hong Kong-based organization continues the fight to clean up our ocean wilderness.
Doug Woodring is the founder of the Ocean Recovery Alliance. His name may sound familiar to long-time listeners of Sea Change Radio because we featured Woodring back in 2010, when he was leading Project Kaisei, a mission to gather information on and document the massive repository of plastic that has accumulated in the North Pacific Gyre. Continue reading