Assembly Member Marc Levine hosted representatives of the Agricultural President’s Council to California’s 10th District to show some of the issues that his district faces. The Associations own Director of Regulatory Affairs, Jodi Raley, as well as Director of Technical Services, Chris McGlothlin, attended the tour. Attendees were bussed throughout the district, while being shown a wide variety of industry and local businesses. The first stop on the tour included a walkthrough of the local Army Corp of Engineers station, as well as an overview of the Bay Model interactive map. The map shows pathways water flows throughout the bay, as well as the different channels and aqueducts that are utilized to provide water to the southern half of the state. The second stop of the tour included a look at aquaculture with Terry Sawyer of Hog Island Oyster Co., where he discussed the different environmental policies that he must follow in order to maintain his business. Sawyer detailed the water quality policies that he faces, aquatic health concerns he must address, as well as the overall health of the bay that he operates in as being the primary focus of his business’ compliance. He also discussed the rising cost of compliance in his specific industry, “When we started, permits to harvest oysters in this area used to cost $500 dollars. Today, one permit easily exceeds $100,000 dollars.”
The remaining stops on the tour included a tour of the local Lagunitas Brewing Co., where innovative water filters are utilized to clean up the discharged water after the beer is brewed. The tour concluded with a look into Spirit Works Distillery, and dinner at Zazu Kitchen & Farm where locally grown ingredients are utilized in dishes served. Overall it was a great tour, with a chance for attendees to relate to regulatory issues that businesses face in the 10th District. The Association would like to thank Assemblyman Levine for taking the time to connect with folks from the agricultural industry.