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The Water Resources Agency manages, protects, stores and conserves water resources in Monterey County for beneficial and environmental use, while minimizing damage from flooding to create a safe and sustainable water supply for present and future generations.

Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program (SMP)


Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program

Interested in participating in the 2018 maintenance season?
The online Work Plan Form will be available by March 15th and due April 30th.



MCWRA and project partners have developed a stream maintenance program, consisting of a coordinated approach to vegetation and sediment management, which would be implemented on a voluntary basis by individual property owners, growers, and municipalities (Participants) along the Salinas River mainstream (River Miles 2 - 94). As a Participant, MCWRA would perform SMP maintenance activities on three tributaries to the Salinas River (San Lorenzo Creek, Bryant Canyon Channel, and Gonzales Slough). The Salinas River mainstream and the tributaries are collectively referred to as the Program Area. The proposed short-term SMP provides maintenance evaluation procedures that will be used by the participants within the Program Area to effectively implement routine stream maintenance activities in a timely, cost-effective and environmentally-sensitive manner.

The proposed SMP provides a science-based, collaborative process, policy, and field procedures to allow Participants to conduct stream maintenance activities (i.e., non-native invasive and native vegetation treatment and sediment management) to maximize flood flow capacity and minimize bank erosion while minimizing environmental effects, helping to protect against flooding during and after major storm events while enhancing habitat value.


Maintenance Area Locator Map

Click on the map below

If a Maintenance Area lies on your property and you are interested in participating then fill out Participant Work Plan and submit it to the MCWRA for review. Maintenance Area locations are approximate and will need to be field-verified during pre-maintenance surveys.

The SMP will be implemented in phases. Phase 1 consists of the Salinas River Multi-Benefit Demonstration Project (Demonstration Project). The Demonstration Project is intended to serve as a model for future work under the SMP. It provides the framework and tools necessary to develop future River Management Units (RMUs) within the overall Program Area. As a demonstration project, it will move forward on a separate path through the permit process. Phase 1 includes the Chualar and Gonzales RMUs. Five-year permits were received in the fall of 2014 and Maintenance began in October 2014 and will continue annually through November 15th.

Phase 2 of short-term SMP implementation includes the development of five additional RMUs for the remaining program area. Maintenance areas within each RMU have been developed based on available data such as topography, flood flows and vegetation communities. As an adaptive management program, maintenance areas will be re-evaluated if significant changes occur. As a result of the collaborative process, one set of permits will be obtained for the overall program (all 7 RMUs) for a 10-year period. However, in any given year, river conditions and participation may change and a flexible process will be implemented based on annual work plans. Work is anticipated to commence for the entire program area in the fall of 2016.

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Monterey County Water Resources Agency
1441 Schilling Pl., North Bldg., Salinas, CA 93901

    Phone (831) 755-4860   |   FAX (831) 424-7935   |   After Hours (831) 796-1166

Email: OfficeassistantII@co.monterey.ca.us