Resource Management Agency Seal

Resource Management Agency


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

Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website and all its documents, users are advised to contact applicable County Resource Management Agency staff before making project decisions and fee estimates.

Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project (CRFREE)

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
File Number(s): REF140048
Location: Downstream end of the Carmel River Watershed, approximately one-half a mile from the river mouth, immediately east and west of State Route 1
Assessor's Parcel Numbers: 243-071-005-000, 243-071-006-000, 243-071-007-000, 243-021-007-000, 157-121-001-000, 243-081-005-000 and 243-071-008-000.
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:
  • Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (FEIR/EA) to Monterey County Board of Supervisor’s for certification – January 28, 2020.
  • Through a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Monterey County is acting as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Lead Agency.
  • The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lead agency, with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 5 Office of Local Assistance acting as a cooperating agency on the review of the Causeway facilities, in accordance the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulation 40 CFR §1501.
Project Description:

The Monterey County Resource Management Agency (County) proposes to implement the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Enhancement Project (Project). The Proposed Project consists of two interdependent Project components: Floodplain Restoration and Causeway.  The USFWS has granted partial funds for the Floodplain Restoration component and is the NEPA lead agency, with the California Department of Transportation acting as a cooperating agency on the review of the Causeway facilities. The County of Monterey is the CEQA lead agency.

The Floodplain Restoration Component consists of: (1) removing a portion of the non-structural earthen levees on the south side of the Carmel River channel; (2) grading to restore the site’s ecological function as a floodplain by creating the hydrogeomorphic characteristics necessary to support floodplain restoration activities; (3) grading to elevate approximately 23 acres of existing farmland above the 100-year floodplain elevation to create an agricultural preserve; and (4) implementation of a Restoration Management Plan (RMP).  The RMP includes restoration of a mosaic of native habitats across the site in two phases, and maintenance, monitoring, and reporting protocols to ensure the success of the revegetation specific to compensatory mitigation requirements.

The Causeway Component consists of replacing a portion of the State Route 1 (SR 1) roadway embankment with a causeway section 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 Carmel Lagoon.  The Project would result in the reconnection and restoration of approximately 100 acres of historic floodplain.  Once construction of the Causeway is complete, SR 1 would remain a two-lane conventional highway with 12-foot travel lanes; however, the Causeway incorporates 8-foot wide shoulders, transitioning to match existing 4-foot-wide shoulders at the southern project limits.  The Causeway would also include a southbound left turn lane at the Palo Corona Regional Park entrance and public trails.


Key Dates:

Monterey County Board of Supervisors to consider certification of the FEIR/EA: January 28, 2020 (NEW)

Related Links:
(These links are provided for information only. The County of Monterey does not endorse any of the information found on these sites)