Carmel Lagoon Ecosystem Protective Barrier and Scenic Road Protective Barrier Projects

Project Name: Carmel Lagoon Ecosystem Protective Barrier and Scenic Road Protective Barrier Projects
File number (s): N/A
(Vicinity Map:)

 Carmel River State Beach

Scenic Road/Carmello Street, Carmel
Assessor's Parcel Number (s):  009-472-001-000; 009-481-004-000; 009-491-001-000
Planning Area:  Carmel Area

Carl Holm, AICP, Deputy Director
(831) 755-5103

Monterey County Resource Management Agency
Current Status:

The Board of Supervisors approved the preferred project alternatives (see project description) based on the Technical Feasibility Study.  County staff is working with permitting agencies to prepare the necessary environmental documents.


Environmental Status:

TBD.  Preparing preliminary documents required for Biological Assessment, CEQA and NEPA.

Project Description:

The project has three components:

Ecosystem Protective Barrier (EPB)

The proposed EPB includes a setback of up to 40-feet from the property line with a top of wall elevation of 17.5 feet based on the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88).  This option was recommended as a component of the Preferred Alternative because it:

  • increases protection of facilities and homes accounting for sea level rise over the next 50 years;
  • minimizes ecological impacts by eliminating drainage infrastructure and fill;
  • minimizes visual impacts with a lower height and greater area of vegetative cover;
  • reduces noise because of smaller pumps with less frequent pumping; and
  • increases area that serves as a bioswale to collect urban runoff. 

If the proposed project is determined to impact operations of the Mission Ranch, a separate EPB alignment would continue from the eastern boundary of the Carmel River Elementary School and extend across the southern boundary of Mission Ranch development. 

Scenic Road Protection Structure (SRPS)

     The preferred alternative SRPS would be located at the toe of the sand slope along Scenic Road.  This proposed SRPS involves excavation of the beach that would be followed by installation of a geotextile, then by two layers of armor rock.  The excavated sand would be replaced back on to the armor rock, which would be �- to 1- ton sized rock.  Rip rap provides the most natural material and the structure would be covered with sand when the beach is not breached.  The alignment allows continued use of the beach area located north of the barrier when (if) the beach breaches to the north.

Interim Sandbar Management Plan (ISMP)

Monterey County assumed a lead role in seeking permits for a long-term solution that would avoid performing mechanical breaching for flood control purposes.  The process to complete technical feasibility studies, design,  environmental review, permitting, and construction is estimated to take up to eight years, depending on resource availability; however, the County is making every effort to reduce this timeframe to five years or less.  In the interim, the County has developed the ISMP for managing the Lagoon including winter openings and summer closure in the best possible manner that reduces potential impacts to both wildlife and property.

Key Dates:


  • 03/25/13; Community Meeting, River School (Agenda)
  • 03/26/13, 5:30 PM; CSA-1 Advisory Committee Meeting, CAWD Boardroom
  • 03/26/13, 6:30 PM; CSA-50 Advisory Committee Meeting, CAWD Boardroom
  • 06/25/13, Board of Supervisors.  Consider preferred alternatives


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