24. QUARTERLY CARMEL RIVER EROSION PROTECTION AND RESTORATION REPORT
Meeting Date: April 21, 2003 Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
Staff Contact: Larry Hampson Cost Estimate: N/A
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance: N/A
Large Woody Debris Assessment Study: Approximately eight miles of river were surveyed before the first large winter storm in December ended the 2002 field season. One hundred fifty one instances of large woody debris (fallen or broken trees or branches greater than 15 centimeters in diameter), or accumulations of large woody debris were documented. Preliminary analysis indicates that only a small percentage (less than 3%) of large wood appears to affect streambank stability. The study, which began in the summer of 2002, is being carried out in cooperation with the Watershed Management Institute at California State University Monterey Bay. Additional work to complete the study is tentatively scheduled to continue in late spring, after river flows drop. Study goals include assessing the importance of large wood on channel configuration (geomorphology) and on the steelhead population.
Carmel River Grant Applications: MPWMD applied to the Monterey County Fish and Game Commission for funds to continue a study of large wood in the river bottom.
MPWMD was informed that a grant application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for restoration of California red-legged frog habitat at Garland Ranch Regional Park was not funded. USFWS staff involved in the review of the proposed project encouraged MPWMD to develop the project description with additional information concerning hydrology and resubmit the proposal next year.
Lower Carmel River Flood Control Project: District staff attended a public meeting on February 19, 2003 sponsored by County Service Area (CSA) 50 to discuss project alternatives for flood control to benefit local homeowners. CSA 50 is a benefit assessment district that funds flood control improvements and levee maintenance for 67 homes in Mission Fields and townhouses near the Crossroads Shopping Center. More than 90% of the property owners (about 75 people attended) appeared to support an alternative to install pumps on the north side of the river to prevent localized flooding, increase the width of and lower the notch in the south levee across from the Crossroads Shopping Center, improve existing tie-back levees, and install floodwalls on the north levee downstream of Highway 1.
Carmel River Field Tours: District staff conducted tours of MPWMD-sponsored river restoration projects for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wildland Hydrology/California State University Monterey Bay, and the Association of Environmental Professionals. MPWMD's biotechnical restoration techniques and recent installation of large wood habitat structures were the focus of the tours. More than 75 professionals and other interested people attended the tours.
Instream Habitat Structures at the deDampierre Restoration Project: This project to place large wood and rock structures in the channel of the Carmel River near the deDampierre Little League baseball fields was completed in October 2002. Staff inspected this project shortly after high flows in December and found that the project was functioning as intended and had not been damaged.
Carmel River Watershed Council (CRWC) Coordination: District staff continues to fulfill requests for information and technical assistance as the CRWC makes a transition after Jonathan Berkey, the Carmel River Watershed Council (CRWC) coordinator, resigned.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Permit for Carmel River Activities: District staff revised the description of maintenance and restoration activities included in an application to the Corps for a Regional General Permit (RGP) and submitted the new description in April 2003 to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for final comments. A final project description should be completed by June 2003.
Carmel River Erosion Potential Hotline: Staff began operating MPWMD's erosion potential hotline in early December 2002. Information about Carmel River flows, weather conditions, bank erosion, and emergency contacts is updated on a regular basis. No bank erosion was reported during the winter of 2002-2003.
Carmel River Advisory Committee: The Committee held a regular meeting on March 13, 2003. Minutes will be provided to the Board in a future report.