ITEM:

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS/STAFF REPORTS

 

24.

QUARTERLY CARMEL RIVER EROSION PROTECTION AND RESTORATION PROJECTS REPORT

 

Meeting Date:

October 17, 2005

Budgeted:

N/A

 

From:

David A. Berger,

Program/

N/A

 

General Manager

Line Item No.:

 

 

 

Prepared By:

 

Larry Hampson

Cost Estimate:

N/A

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:N/A

CEQA Compliance:N/A

 

Carmel River Advisory Committee Meeting: On August 4, 2005, the Carmel River Advisory Committee held a Regular Meeting.The Committee scheduled a Special Meeting for September 21, 2005 to hear pro and con arguments concerning Measure W on the November 2, 2005 General Election ballot.The Committee Chair, John Dalessio, cancelled the special meeting after several Committee members indicated they could not attend.The special meeting has not been re-scheduled as of October 6.

 

State Proposition 50 Grant Applications:  General Manager David Berger and Water Resources Engineer Larry Hampson attended a workshop jointly sponsored by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board on September 23, 2005 in Sacramento to review the stateís ranking of Planning Grant applications it had received.The initial information from the state agencies indicated that the MPWMD-sponsored application for a Planning Grant to develop an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan would not be funded with Prop. 50 funds.At that meeting, General Manager Berger presented oral comments on the funding recommendations and requested further consideration of MPWMDís proposal.Staff followed up with written recommendations and provided additional information supporting the grant application.

 

Subsequently, DWR informed MPWMD that additional funds will be allocated for Planning Grants and that MPWMDís proposal will be funded.MPWMD has requested written confirmation from DWR that the proposal will be funded.District staff coordinated the proposal, which includes funding requests from several cities, other public agencies, and private non-profit organizations totaling $496,957.50.

 

Large Wood Installation at the Carmel River Lagoon:MPWMD staff provided design recommendations and other technical information to the Carmel River Steelhead Association (CRSA) and NOAA Fisheries concerning placement of anchored large wood in the new south arm of the Carmel River Lagoon.Staff continues to work with the CRSA, NOAA Fisheries, and others agencie to move the project toward completion before the rainy season.

 

Response to Complaints of Unauthorized Vehicles in the Carmel River:Over the past summer, MPWMD received written complaints from the Carmel River Steelhead Association and others about unauthorized motor vehicles traveling in the river in the vicinity of Rancho Canada, and an anonymous complaint of "quadrunners" in the vicinity of Schulte Bridge.In late July, the Monterey County Sheriff's deputies observed and investigated an incident involving three four-wheel drive vehicles driving in the flowing river between Rancho CaŮada and Highway 1.Later investigation by MPWMD staff revealed several dead steelhead in the tracks of the vehicles and damage to the streambank where the vehicles had entered and exited the channel bottom.MPWMD staff have learned recently through an anonymous tip that motorized "quadrunners" have been seen driving in the riverbed downstream of Schulte Road Bridge.

On October 3, 2005, General Manager David Berger and Water Resources Engineer Larry Hampson met with Monterey County Sheriff Mike Kanalakis to discuss this situation.The Sheriff agreed that the MPWMD law prohibiting unauthorized motor vehicles in the river needs to be enforced (Rule 124 G.) and provided assurances that the Sheriff's Department would follow up by citing drivers previously caught operating vehicles in the river without MPWMD authorization as well as in the future.The Sheriff requested MPWMD's assurance in writing that it is committed to future enforcement actions in coordination with the Sheriff's Office, which General Manager Berger has provided.

At Sheriff Kanalakisí suggestion, MPWMD will be following up with the Monterey County Probation Department to set up a program to offer offending drivers the opportunity to work under the supervision of MPWMD staff on various Carmel River related activities including streambank revegetation, steelhead population surveys, steelhead habitat enhancement projects, vegetation management, and river monitoring projects.It is hoped that such a program will benefit offending drivers by educating them about the valuable resources of the river and providing an alternative to fines and other punishments that could be meted out by the justice system.

 

Lagoon Sandbar Management Technical Advisory Committee:MPWMD staff members Dave Dettman and Larry Hampson participated in an October 4, 2005 meeting to develop a short-term strategy for sandbar management and stabilization of the Scenic Drive bluff during the winter of 2005-2006.Other meeting participants included representatives of regulatory agencies (NOAA Fisheries, California Department of Fish and Game, California Coastal Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), responsible agencies (California State Parks, Monterey County Public Works, and Monterey County Water Resources Agency), and technical experts (Professors Jerry Smith from Cal State San Jose and Ed Thornton from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Professor Thornton gave a brief presentation on beach processes and praised the work by MPWMD hydrologist Greg James to document sandbar dynamics over the past 13 years.Based on James' work and his own observations of the beach, Professor Thornton recommended that the sandbar be breached to the south and characterized the bluff along Scenic Drive as weak for the coming winter, but not in danger of further damage as long as the river did not flow to the north.

The technical committee drafted a preliminary set of recommendations to be reviewed by stakeholders and local, State, and Federal regulators with a goal of finalizing a short-term plan before the rainy season begins to fill the lagoon.

 

 

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