Meeting Date:

March 17, 2008





David A. Berger


Erosion Protection


General Manager

Line Item No.:     





Prepared By:

Larry Hampson

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on March 12, 2008 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY: Staff proposes to contract with Graham Matthews & Associates to develop a preliminary design for the Lower Carmel River Restoration Project in an 800-foot reach of the Carmel River channel between Via Mallorca Road and Rancho San Carlos Road (see vicinity map in Exhibit 4-A, Scope of Work and Cost Estimate).  The firm would develop a  preliminary design for use in making a preliminary cost estimate, obtaining access permissions from affected property owners, and beginning the environmental review and permitting process for the restoration project.  The District carried out and participated in emergency stream bank repairs in this reach of the river in 2005 and 2006.  These repairs were done under emergency conditions in the flowing river as streambank areas were being eroded, and were considered to be temporary until a more comprehensive restoration project could be implemented.  The owners of the two properties on which the emergency repairs were undertaken, and the property owner directly across from the unstable bank area (i.e. Hacienda Carmel), each provided the District with written commitments to consider participation in a long-term restoration project (Exhibit 4-B). The goals of the preliminary design effort would be to assess the stability of the repair work and outline techniques to augment and enhance the work where required.


Project deliverables would include drawings and a conceptual design report that describes the project area, lists property ownership and identifies exactly which properties would have actual construction work undertaken on them.  Staff’s proposed scope of work and $10,000 cost estimate for completing this work has been reviewed and accepted by Graham Matthews and Associates.  Mr. Mathews has a unique set of skills and experience in developing a preliminary design for this area of the Carmel River that includes previous river surveys, a previous preliminary design for this site, and other investigations as a contractor and former employee of the District.  


RECOMMENDATION:  Authorize the General Manager to negotiate and enter into a District standard professional services agreement with Graham Matthews & Associates, on a Time-and-Materials basis for a not-to-exceed amount of $10,000, to complete a preliminary design for the Lower Carmel River Restoration Project. 


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:  Funds for these expenditures are included in the FY 2007-2008 amended budget under Project Expenses for Program 2-2-1-B (Preliminary Design for Lower Carmel River Restoration Project, Account 4-7895.41, $10,000). Staff time will be required to administer the contract.


BACKGROUND:  Streambanks in the reach between Via Mallorca Road Bridge at station 17,700 (measured in feet from the ocean) and Rancho San Carlos Road Bridge at station 20,380 underwent significant erosion in 1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, and 2006.  In the early 1980’s, MPWMD ordered California American Water to change its management of the well system in Carmel Valley and extract groundwater from the lowest wells in Carmel Valley first and then move upstream in response to demand.  Except in extremely wet years (such as 1998), this has resulted in annual dewatering of the river within the Lower Carmel River Restoration Project and has impaired the vigor of riparian vegetation that historically protected this reach of the river from bank erosion. 


Based on a recent topographic survey completed by Graham Matthews and Associates of the lowest point in the channel, a compounding effect that may also have contributed to bank instability is the degradation of the river channel (i.e., incision into the channel bottom) that has occurred since 1998.  In some areas, portions of the channel are up to four feet lower than measured in 1998.  Channel degradation is predictable response in a sediment-starved system such as the Carmel River.  However, rapid degradation of the type that has occurred recently can lead to undermining of slopes, as occurred in 2005 and 2006, when MPWMD coordinated emergency streambank repairs in this reach.  The projects consisted of installing approximately 600 tons of rip-rap along the north side of the streambank in two separate repairs to halt streambank erosion during high flows in 2005 and 2006.


Exhibit 4-A, Scope of Work describes the basic approach, project deliverables, estimated budget, and schedule for the work.



4-A      Scope of Work, Preliminary Design for the Lower Carmel River Restoration Project

4-B      Letters of Support from Hacienda Carmel, John Kenny and Amelia Dow