The Conservancy at 40: The Carmel River
In 1999 the Carmel River was listed as one of North American’s ten most endangered rivers, but many organizations and individuals have been working together to reverse this and make the Carmel River watershed once again healthy and vibrant. Over the years, a concentration of conservation efforts has begun the transformation; this has included land acquisitions, river restoration, and the initiation of a river parkway that will eventually provide a connection for people between the coast and the river’s headwaters in the Los Padres National Forest.
One of the Conservancy’s proudest accomplishments has been the removal of San Clemente Dam, the largest dam removal in California to date. This innovative project restored fish passage to 25 miles of high quality spawning and rearing habitat and allows sediment to once again travel down the river to replenish the sand at Carmel River State Beach. Removal of the seismically unsafe dam also protected downstream residential and commercial properties. The 920-acre project site will be donated to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and opened to the public for hiking and other recreation.
In 2004, The Nature Conservancy and Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) led the effort to acquire the 10,000-acre Palo Corona Ranch, which linked together more than ten conserved properties. The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, Wildlife Conservation Board, and California State Parks joined with the Conservancy to provide the $37 million needed to acquire the property. This property dominates the landscape along the lower river and forms the gateway to the Big Sur coast.
Currently the Conservancy is supporting the County of Monterey and BSLT on implementation of the Carmel River FREE (Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement) project, which will restore habitat along the lower river while also dramatically reducing flooding impacts to the local community.
We look forward to the day when the Carmel River is deemed one of the ten most restored rivers in the country!
- Coastal Conservancy Awards Grants for Coastal Access, Restoration, and Climate Resilience2/15/2024 – Today, the Board of the State Coastal Conservancy authorized a number of grants to restore, protect, and expand access to the California coast. Grants approved included: A grant of an amount not to exceed $35,000,000 to The Nature Conservancy to complete permitting and implement the first phase of the Ormond Beach Restoration Public Access […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Awards...)
- Coastal Stories 2024 RFP now open!The Coastal Stories 2024 grant program is now open! This grant program aims to support inclusivity of outdoor spaces for all Californians. The primary goal of the Coastal Stories Grant Program is to promote the representation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), individuals with disabilities, immigrant communities, low-income communities, and other historically excluded groups […] (Read more on Coastal Stories 2024...)
- Coastal Conservancy Public Meeting in Newport Beach – February 15Meeting Notice Updated 2/5/2024 1:49 PM, address correction. Douglas Bosco (Public Member), Chair Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš (Public Member), Vice Chair Joy Sterling (Public Member) Jeremiah Hallisey (Public Member) Wade Crowfoot, Secretary for Natural Resources; Bryan Cash and Jenn Eckerle (Designated) Caryl Hart, Coastal Commission Chair; Madeline Cavalieri (Designated) Keely Bosler, Director, Department of Finance; Gayle Miller […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Public...)