Meeting Date:

April 17, 2006





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:

Larry Hampson

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


Carmel River Advisory Committee Meeting: On February 2, 2006, the Carmel River Advisory Committee held a Regular Meeting.  Minutes from that meeting will be made available in a future Board packet.


State Proposition 50 Planning Grant:  In March 2006, MPWMD executed a grant agreement with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for $496,957 to prepare and Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan for the Region, which includes the Carmel River watershed, the Monterey Peninsula, the Seaside Groundwater Basin, and other areas within the MPWMD boundary.  A draft plan is expected to be completed in late August or early September 2006.


At their March 20, 2006 meeting, the District Board authorized the General Manger to enter into subgrantee agreements with the City of Monterey, the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy (CRWC), and the Big Sur Land Trust for not-to-exceed amounts as follows:


Entity                                                                Grant Amount               IRWM Task No.

City of Monterey                                              $250,000           ,

Carmel River Watershed Conservancy    $15,368                     4.4.2, 5.8

Big Sur Land Trust                                           $25,000                      4.6.1   


Total                                                                $290,368


In addition, the General Manager was also authorized to enter into agreements with RMC Water and Environment for services described in the RFP received on February 28, 2006 for a not-to-exceed amount of $146,485 and with Padre and Associates for services described in the RFP received on March 2, 2006 for a not-to-exceed amount of $41,008.


District staff are in the process of finalizing these agreements.  Work with CRWC has already begun on prioritizing actions in the Carmel River watershed.


State Proposition 50 Implementation Grant Application:  The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) recently announced the results of their evaluation of Step 1 Implementation Grant applications that the District submitted in July 2005 under the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Grant Program.  MPWMD submitted an application with a request for $27.3 million in grant funds to complete 17 projects within the MPWMD-defined Region.  The application scored below the cutoff for being invited back to submit a Step 2 application for grant funds.  The call back decision by DWR and SWRCB was based on an evaluation of each applicant’s IRWM Plan, the description of proposed projects, and on how well the project proposal met Statewide Priorities.


As expected, MPWMD’s IRWM Plan and Project Proposal in the Step 1 application garnered a minimum number of points, which was primarily due to an incomplete plan and lack of integration among projects and strategies.  However, the MPWMD application was one of only five in the State (out of a total of 50) that scored well in addressing Statewide Priorities.  In particular, the suite of projects proposed by MPWMD scored “High” in reducing conflict among water users and addressing recommendations in Statewide Plans (e.g., SWRCB Non-point Source Pollution Plan and Regional Water Quality Control Board 3 Watershed Management Initiative).


The District explored the feasibility of including selected projects from the MPWMD Region in another agency’s Step 2 application.  However, to consolidate applications would require MPWMD to:  1) complete a draft IRWM Plan for the MPWMD region; 2) complete a draft Functionally Equivalent Document (FED) that integrates the MPWMD IRWM Plan with another agency’s IRWM Plan; 3) reprioritize projects from both Regions to meet the maximum grant request limit of $25 million (the Step 2 limit); and 4) prepare a Step 2 application, which is due June 8, 2006. 


Work to complete the IRWM Plan for the MPWMD Region has only just been started and a draft Plan will probably not be available until late August.  Staff has concluded that the lack of a completed plan for this Region precludes the possibility of consolidating Regions at this time.  Experience gained from applying for an Implementation Grant and from the evaluation by DWR and SWRCB staff will be used in completing the IRWM Plan for this Region and in moving forward in the second Implementation Grant cycle, which is due to begin in early or mid-2007.


Carmel River Streambank Violations Update:  In 2004, the District recorded a Notice of Noncompliance on two properties along the Carmel River just downstream of Via Mallorca Bridge following the pouring of concrete and placement of other materials along the bank that was not permitted under District regulations.  In November 2005, the District again notified the owner of one of these two properties for having undertaken unauthorized cutting of large cottonwoods on his property within the riparian zone.  A mutually productive meeting occurred the week of February 17, 2006 between an engineer representing this property owner, and District Engineer Andrew M. Bell to discuss ways and means to potentially resolve the ordinance violations and removal of the Notice of Noncompliance.  District staff and General Counsel have met with attorneys representing both property owners, and we desire a solution that results in the banks being restored satisfactorily so as to avert the need for the MPWMD Board of Directors to consider potential enforcement action.

Lagoon Sandbar Management Technical Advisory Committee:  MPWMD staff continues to participate in Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings aimed at developing a long term plan and carrying out a short-term strategy for sandbar management and stabilization of the Scenic Drive bluff during the winter of 2005-2006. The TAC was formed by federal, state and local regulatory/resource agencies in the fall of 2005 to manage the lagoon sandbar after citizen groups advocated for a planned strategy to reduce the potential for flooding, protect Scenic Road from erosion, and mitigate for impacts to aquatic species in the Lagoon from sandbar management activities. 


During the first quarter of 2006, MPWMD staff met and conferred regularly with TAC agencies to assess current lagoon conditions. MPWMD staff is providing the TAC with information on lagoon water quality, watershed conditions, river flows, beach configuration, and steelhead movements through the main stem in order to better manage the sandbar throughout the winter and spring.  The river continues to flow out to the south near a bedrock sill.  MPWMD staff is also monitoring the movement of sand along the beach in response to river flows and changes in swell direction and height.


Carmel River Streambank Conditions:  Recent heavy rains in late March and early April in the Carmel River watershed caused the river to rise above levels that can cause streambank erosion (above 2,000 cubic feet per second or cfs).  Starting April 3, 2006 river flows rose from approximately 500 cfs to a peak of just over 4,000 cfs at the USGS Near Carmel gage (at Via Mallorca Bridge) at about noon on April 5 and remained above 2,000 cfs until about noon on April 6.


Several large willow and alder trees with rootballs attached were washed out of the north streambank along the Osborn property near the upstream end of Garland Park.  The vegetation washed out of the streambank accumulated in the middle of the channel and formed a debris dam that splits flow in the main channel.  District Staff Thomas Christensen and Larry Hampson inspected the area on April 6 and determined that flows were too high to safely reach the debris dam and that action to address the situation would have to wait until flows drop substantially.  It was evident during the inspection that the north streambank directly across from the debris dam was being undermined and that flows were scouring vegetation along the toe of the bank. 


However, the property owner, Ellen Osborn, stated that large rock had been placed on the streambank during the winter of 1982-83 to protect the bank from erosion.  Based on this information and the difficulty of accessing the river at the point where the bank was being undermined Hampson and Christensen recommended that the property owner, Ellen Osborn,  regularly inspect the area, but wait until flow drops to assess the condition of the bank.  Christensen also informed Ms. Osborn that MPWMD would revisit the site as part of the annual river inspection later this year and make a determination about what action would be appropriate to reduce the potential for bank erosion in the future.


On April 5, in an area about 1,000 feet upstream of the Via Mallorca Bridge, at the site of emergency work carried out by MPWMD in January 2005, erosion occurred along about 75 feet of the north streambank along the Kenny and Dow properties.  This resulted in lateral migration of the streambank of about 20 feet has left the streambank in a vertical condition, with an estimated 12 to 15 feet of the bank exposed above the river bottom.


District Engineer Andy Bell and staff members Matt Lyons, Christensen, and Hampson met with Jon Kenny, one of the affected property owners, on site on April 6 to discuss emergency actions to halt further bank erosion.  Mr. Kenny planned to haul and place up to 100 tons of rock rip-rap on the streambank.  MPWMD offered to provide partial funding and design for repairs, assistance with securing any required permits, and willow cuttings to place in the rock rip-rap.  Work was planned to be carried out as early as April 8.  On April 7, 2006 the District Engineer issued a Declaration of Emergency Status for the area between the Rancho San Carlos Road Bridge and the Via Mallorca Bridge primarily due to the streambank conditions at the Kenny and Dow properties.