Carmel river lagoon update a presentation to the carmel point and lagoon preservation association
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Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. Carmel River Lagoon Update A presentation to the Carmel Point and Lagoon Preservation Association. ● Status of the Study Plan for Long Term Adaptive Management of the Carmel River State Beach and Lagoon ● Lagoon closing in spring 2009 .

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Carmel river lagoon update a presentation to the carmel point and lagoon preservation association

Monterey PeninsulaWater Management District

Carmel River Lagoon UpdateA presentation to theCarmel Point and Lagoon Preservation Association

● Status of the Study Plan for Long Term Adaptive Management of the Carmel River State Beach and Lagoon

●Lagoon closing in spring 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009 by Larry Hampson, Water Resources Engineer


Study plan for long term adaptive management of the carmel river state beach and lagoon
Study Plan for Long Term Adaptive Management of the Carmel River State Beach and Lagoon

  • The next few slides identify:

  • The planning area

  • Why a comprehensive plan is needed

  • The stakeholders involved

  • Goals of the plan

  • Alternatives to be considered

  • Progress to date


Immediate planning area
Immediate Planning Area River State Beach and Lagoon


Why a comprehensive plan is needed
Why a comprehensive plan is needed River State Beach and Lagoon

Issues to address include:

  • Storms remove sand from along Scenic Road and from the south end of the beach

  • Homes and infrastructure on the north side of the lagoon are subject to flooding from the river and the ocean

  • Beach manipulation, Carmel River diversions, and land use within the Carmel River watershed impact the beach and habitat at the lagoon for steelhead and California red-legged frogs


Spring storms remove sand from stewart s cove and from the slope below scenic road
Spring storms remove sand from Stewart’s Cove and from the slope below Scenic Road

Scenic Road

Stewart’s Cove

March 1993








Lagoon water flows continuously through the beach
Lagoon water flows continuously summerthrough the beach



Impacts to steelhead
Impacts to Steelhead replenishment


High and low water comparison
High and low water comparison replenishment

9 a.m., February 9, 2006, Elev.= 9.5

Lagoon surface area = 90 acres (estimate)

8:30 a.m., February 6, 2006, Elev.= 2.7

Lagoon surface area = 12 acres (estimate)


Higher water levels higher water quality and more aquatic habitat
Higher water levels = replenishmenthigher water quality and more aquatic habitat


Lower water levels expose fish to predators, warm water, higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels


Stakeholders
Stakeholders higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • Big Sur Land Trust

  • California American Water

  • California State University Monterey Bay

  • Carmel Development Company

  • Carmel River Lagoon Coalition

  • Carmel River Steelhead Association

  • Carmel River Watershed Conservancy

  • Monterey County Service Area 50

  • Pebble Beach Company


Technical advisory committee
Technical Advisory Committee higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • California Coastal Commission

  • California Department of Fish and Game

  • California State Parks

  • Carmel Area Wastewater District

  • Monterey County Public Works Department

  • Monterey County Water Resources Agency

  • Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

  • NOAA Fisheries

  • Regional Water Quality Control Board

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Planning goal comprehensive management
Planning Goal – comprehensive management higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • Decrease potential for flood damage on the north side of the lagoon

  • Reduce the need to manage the beach

  • Improve steelhead habitat in the lagoon

  • Protect Scenic Road

  • Increase the sand supply to the mouth


General categories of alternatives to be studied
General categories of alternatives to be studied higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • Beach sand replenishment

  • Structural protection along Scenic Road

  • Flood proofing of structures

  • Mechanical control of lagoon elevation (e.g., pump to reduce high levels, install grade control at outlet to raise lowest level)

  • Create managed outlet channel

  • Increase dry season flows


Alternatives analysis
Alternatives Analysis higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • Several scientific studies are needed in order to evaluate alternatives

  • These studies will provide the information necessary to complete environmental documents (i.e., EIR and EIS) and preliminary plans for alternatives


Progress to date
Progress to Date higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • Outline of studies was completed in April 2007

  • Proposed scope of work was provided to State and Federal elected officials in 2007 and 2008 with a request for funds

  • Project work is part of the highest-ranked project in the Monterey Peninsula planning region

  • Funding for certain components of the plan has been requested by CRWC

  • MPWMD and MCWRA continue to search for grant funds to complete studies and begin work on environmental analysis


How far have we really come
How far have we really come? higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.

    - Winston Churchill


Lagoon closing in spring 2009
Lagoon closing in spring 2009 higher salinity levels, and lower dissolved oxygen levels

  • Closing the lagoon before the dry season is timed to fill the lagoon to as high an elevation as feasible before river inflows stop

  • Closing is the responsibility of the California State Parks Department

  • State Parks consults with the Lagoon TAC concerning the timing and location of the closure

  • MPWMD provides data on river inflow, tides, swell height and direction, condition of the beach, and status of steelhead migration


What happens when the lagoon is mechanically closed off before the dry season
What happens when the lagoon is mechanically closed off before the dry season?

  • The volume of water and habitat in the lagoon after closure is greater than after a natural closure

  • Water quality remains high for a longer period during the dry season

  • Bird predation is decreased

  • Food and habitat for steelhead rearing is increased


Carmel river lagoon cycles
Carmel River Lagoon Cycles before the dry season?

Above – just prior to a breach

Below – during a breach that empties the lagoon


Carmel river state beach spring 2009
Carmel River State Beach – spring 2009 before the dry season?

May 8, 2009


Beach condition prior to closure
Beach Condition Prior to Closure before the dry season?


Using equipment to block the mouth and raise the beach
Using equipment to block the mouth and raise the beach before the dry season?

Left - June 11, 2009


Emergency outlet through the south end of the beach
Emergency outlet through the south end of the beach before the dry season?

May 26, 2009


Main stem
Main stem before the dry season?

Above – 5/18/2009

Right – 6/11/2009


South arm
South arm before the dry season?

Above – 5/18/2009

Right – 6/11/2009


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