Drakes Estero, Inverness

#6 of 6 in Wildlife in Point Reyes National Seashore
Drakes Estero is an expansive estuary in the Point Reyes National Seashore of Marin County on the Pacific coast of northern California in the United States, approximately 25mi northwest of San Francisco.
Situated at, the estuary provides the main drainage for the Point Reyes peninsula. Seen from the air, Drakes Estero resembles a human hand, with Barries Bay, Creamery Bay, Schooner Bay, and Home Bay as the "fingers" and Limantour Bay as the thumb. The waters of the Estero flow into Drakes Bay between Drakes Beach and a narrow strip of land called Limantour Spit.
Drakes Estero is a Congressionally-designated "potential wilderness area." Although Drakes Estero is protected as part of the National Seashore, legacy agricultural uses such as dairy farms and oyster aquaculture have led to controversy over the water quality, conservation status, and proper uses of this body of water.
Conservationists, including L. Martin Griffin, Jr. and oceanographer Sylvia Earle called for an end to the ongoing oyster farming in the estero. Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized the National Park Service, alleging that data used to support the non-renewal was flawed. On November 29, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar directed the National Park Service to allow the permit for oyster farming to expire, stating that the land and waters of the estero should be returned to their natural state.
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Drakes Estero Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
26 reviews
  • Second only to Abbotts Lagoon for birding in PRNS. Stay alert for raptors at the creek end of the lagoon and waterfowl near the ocean end.  more »
  • There are several hiking trails around Drakes Estero that offer beautiful scenery, breathtaking views, and access to Drakes Bay. Pack a lunch and enjoy the wildlife. Numerous photographic locations.  more »

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