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Resource Management Agency


Planning Services
1441 Schilling Place
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 755-5025
(831) 757-9516

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Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project


File Number(s): REF140048
Location: Immediately adjacent to the south bank of the lower Carmel River and associated riparian corridor, on west and east sides of State Route 1 known as the Odello fields.
Assessor's Parcel Numbers: 243-071-003-000
Planning Area: Carmel Area Land Use Plan 
Project Lead: Melanie Beretti, Special Programs Manager, (831) 755-5285,
Current Status: In planning, design and environmental review phase. Monterey County and the Big Sur Land Trust will be co-applicants for all project permits and authorizations.
Environmental Status:
  • Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) – March 12, 2018 to April 13, 2018
  • Through a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Monterey County is acting as the CEQA Lead Agency.
  • The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Caltrans District 5 Office of Local Assistance (as the delegated authority for the Federal Highways Administration [FHWA] ) will serve as federal co-leads in accordance the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulation 40 CFR §1501.
Project Description:

The Proposed Project consists of two interdependent Project components: the Floodplain Restoration and the Causeway.

The Floodplain Restoration consists of

  1. Removing approximately 1,470 linear feet of non-structural earthen levees on the south side of the Carmel River channel;
  2. Grading to elevate approximately 23 acres of existing farmland above the 100−year floodplain elevation to create an agricultural preserve; 
  3. Grading on approximately 100 acres to restore the site’s ecological function as a floodplain by creating the hydrogeomorphic characteristics necessary to support floodplain restoration activities; and.
  4. Implementation of the Restoration Management Plan, which includes restoration of a mosaic of native habitats across the site in two phases, restoration maintenance, and monitoring to ensure the success of the revegetation specific to compensatory mitigation requirements. 

The Causeway consists of replacing a portion of the SR 1 roadway embankment with a 360−foot long causeway section in order to accommodate flood flows that enter into the south overbank area as a function of the removal of portions of the levees as described above and to restore hydrologic connectivity between the Project site and the south arm of Carmel Lagoon. The Project would result in the reconnection and restoration of approximately 100 acres of historic floodplain.

Key Dates:
  • Notice of Preparation and Scoping Meeting for EIR – March 26, 2018
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