Stop Cow Manure From Contaminating Public Waterways

Target: Charles F. Sams III, Director of the National Park Service

Goal: Demand a water quality strategy is successfully developed and implemented on protected California coastlines.

A recent water quality report conducted in Point Reyes National Seashore, a vast expanse of protected coastline in Northern California, revealed concerningly high levels of water pollution. Point Reyes is one of the few national parks which allows subsidized private cattle ranching, and the 5,000+ meat and dairy cattle that graze within its realms are major contributors to coastal pollution. Manure, fecal coliform, and E. coli runoff from cattle ranching practices are entering California’s waterways, affecting entire ecosystems and local communities along the way.

Data collected during the report shows the significant threat this pollution casts on public and environmental health. Wading, swimming, kayaking, and other water activities pose serious health risks, as well as the harvesting of fish and shellfish in certain areas of the coast. Even still, the Park Services have conditionally–and controversially–approved plans to extend the leases of two dozen commercial dairy and beef operations in the park.

This September, the Coastal Commission is set to review a second attempt by the Park Services to implement a water quality strategy in order to better regulate water pollution after an inadequate first attempt. This catastrophic pollution shouldn’t be happening anywhere, let alone a protected, national park. Sign this petition to ensure the Park Services devise a sufficient, well-thought out strategy that can be successfully implemented.


Dear Director Sams III,

Recently, a water quality assessment conducted in Point Reyes National Seashore revealed disturbingly high levels of water pollution, which can mainly be accounted for by the manure runoff from the dozens of subsidized private cattle ranches in the park. Point Reyes is one of the few national parks which allows cattle ranching within its confines, and local communities and ecosystems are paying the price. Recreational water activities, as well as commercial fishing in particular regions of the shore, have been deemed unsafe. And, now, you want to extend the leases of up to two dozen commercial dairy and beef operations in the park.

As your first attempt at developing a water quality strategy was deemed insufficient and inadequate by the Coastal Commission, we are asking you to please come up with and implement a better plan to regulate water pollution in the protected Point Reyes National Seashore.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Daniel Parks

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