27. QUARTERLY CARMEL RIVER EROSION PROTECTION AND RESTORATION PROJECTS REPORT
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: N/A
Carmel River Large Woody Debris Inventory: A survey of the channel bottom was completed between the Carmel River lagoon and San Clemente Dam. Staff assisted with the tagging and identification of accumulations of large wood upstream of Carmel Valley Village. A report by the Watershed Institute at California State University Monterey Bay (the District’s contractor for the work) should be available in Spring 2004.
Carmel River Violation: A serious violation of the District's riparian ordinances occurred in late December 2003 on two residential properties on the north bank of the river just upstream of the Rancho Cañada Golf Club. One of the property owners had cut riparian vegetation and placed concrete on the river bank in an area that had been armored with rip-rap following the high flows in 1998. Approximately one-half of the work was carried out on an adjacent property owner’s land. In addition, the property owner in violation of the District’s ordinances directed his workers to excavate the foundation of the Via Mallorca Bridge to remove large pieces of wood that had accumulated there in past years. The bridge provides access to Hacienda Carmel and is the property of the Hacienda Carmel Community Association. Representatives of Hacienda Carmel contacted District staff expressing concern regarding the unauthorized activity. District staff took enforcement action against the property owner who had directed the work, Roy Woods, by sending him a notice of violation, with conditions for compliance. Mr. Woods subsequently stated to staff that he would comply with all of MPWMD’s requests, which include a cease and desist order regarding river work, removal of unauthorized materials and bank restoration. Mr. Woods is required to respond formally with an application to the District for a River Work Permit by February 2, 2004.
Carmel River Watershed Conservancy (CRWC) Coordination: CRWC requested that MPWMD carry out an assessment of biologic, aquatic, and environmental conditions along the main stem. MPWMD entered into a reimbursement contract for approximately $52,000 with the CRWC for the work, which is expected to begin in January 2004 and should be completed by June 2004.
Guest Lecturers for River Restoration Course: On October 25, 2003, Thomas Christensen and Larry Hampson led a field trip along the Carmel River for 25 students in Professor Matt Kondolf's course titled "Restoration of Rivers and Streams," taught through the University of California at Berkeley. Topics presented included lagoon management, stream stabilization techniques, vegetation management, irrigation requirements, fisheries habitat enhancement, and the effects of the main stem dams on the evolution of the channel.
Dam Removal Workshop: On January 5 through January 7, 2004, Dave Dettman, Senior Fisheries Biologist, and Larry Hampson, Water Resources Engineer, attended a workshop in Santa Rosa titled "Succeeding with a Dam Removal Project" that focused on restoration of natural river ecosystems through removal of obsolete or undesirable dams. Nearly 80 people participated in the workshop, which was led by experts in the field of dam removal and river restoration, some of which have been involved in removing dams for more than 20 years. There are nearly 1,400 dams in California. At least 77 dams have been removed since 1922. Several presenters stressed that involvement of all stakeholders in a dam removal project is a key to being successful.
Rancho Cañada Village Update: On January 6, 2004, District staff (Christensen and Oliver), attended a meeting held by the Rancho Cañada Community Partners. The meeting focused on the proposed mixed-income neighborhood that would be built on part of Rancho Cañada's golf course. Highlights include 36 acres set aside for 280 units and 36 acres set aside for open space adjacent to the Carmel River.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Permit for Carmel River Activities: MPWMD continued to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) as part of the formal consultation concerning MPWMD's proposed maintenance and restoration activities in the Carmel River. In early January 2004, MPWMD received a copy of the biological opinion provided to the Corps on potential impacts to California red-legged frogs. Also in early January 2004, NOAA Fisheries indicated that a biological opinion on potential impacts to steelhead was ready to send to the Corps. The permit from the Corps will streamline the normally lengthy process of obtaining federal agency authorization for work in the river and will set out a framework for the conduct of such projects.
Carmel River Advisory Committee (Committee): The Committee held regular meetings on October 30, 2003 and December 18, 2003, and a special meeting on November 13, 2003 to tour the Los Padres Dam and Reservoir.
MPWMD Web Site: District staff added a web page on erosion potential along the Carmel River, including information on local contractors and federal, state, and local agency contacts for flood and erosion emergencies. These items can be viewed in the “Programs” section of the District’s web site.