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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Carmel River Mitigation Program Update

October 2014
Carmel River Over drafting by Cal Am harms our water supply and threatens steelhead populations as shown in this photo of the Carmel River taken near Garland Ranch in Carmel Valley. (Photograph: John Dalessio).

As a result of the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) issued by the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) against Cal Am, triggered by Sierra Club litigation, a moratorium on all new connections went into effect in April 2010. A mitigation program financed by Cal Am to ensure that endangered local steelhead populations (Oncorhychus mykiss) would thrive during a search for an improved water supply was part of this settlement agreement. This year, the settlement agreement was modified to make the State Coastal Conservancy the recipient and manager of these funds. This month, a list of projects planned through 2016 and totaling approximately $7,000,000 was released. They include: funding for removal of the Old Carmel River Dam, removal of the Sleepy Hollow Ford, improvements to the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility Intake structure, implementation of the Carmel River Lagoon protective barrier project and implementation of a recycled water project to augment water in the lagoon.

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