Act Now!

Send your letter of support for Carmel River FREE to the Board of Supervisors by June 14. Here’s how:

The Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project (Carmel River FREE) will be coming before the Monterey County Board of Supervisors for approval on Tuesday, June 15.

This critical action is needed to propel the project forward to final design and construction. We cannot move forward with the process without this approval. Millions of state and federal grant dollars hang in the balance and we are on borrowed time in terms of a catastrophic flood.

The main actions before the Board will be to:

  • Approve the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement project generally consisting of the removal of a portion of the existing south bank Carmel River levee, floodplain restoration grading to accommodate conveyance of flows, construction of a causeway to convey flows under California State Route 1 into the south arm of the Carmel Lagoon, elevate 23 acres out of the floodplain for future use as an agricultural preserve, construct trails, and restore native habitats;
  • Authorize the Director of the Housing and Community Development Department to obtain the encroachment permit from Caltrans for the causeway construction component of the Project, and to apply for permits and entitlements from the Coastal Commission and other agencies on behalf of the County; and
  • Adopt a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan.

Letters should urge the Board to approve the project and authorize staff to move forward with securing the necessary permits and entitlements, citing some of the benefits:

  • The Carmel River FREE project will restore habitat and significantly reduce flood risks along the lower Carmel River and Carmel River Lagoon at the mouth of Carmel Valley.
  • Carmel River FREE will improve habitat for both fish and wildlife in the immediate vicinity by restoring Carmel River’s southern floodplain.
  • It will also expand public access to nearby regional and state parklands, providing health benefits related to being in the outdoors.
  • This project will include a 23-acre agricultural preserve, protected from flooding.

Letters or emails of support are needed and should be submitted to the Board of Supervisors before 5:00 pm on June 14. In the interest of time we recommend sending the letter by email. The agenda should be posted by Friday, June 11 at If possible, please reference the agenda #.

Email your letter as an attachment to the Clerk of the Board and the subject line should reference June 15, 2021, Board of Supervisors Meeting on Carmel River FREE. The email and letter should CC the individual Supervisors. (Supervisor Alejo) (Supervisor Phillips) (Supervisor Lopez) (Supervisor Askew) (Supervisor Adams)

When formatting your letter, it should be addressed to:

Supervisor Wendy Root Askew, Chair
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
168 Alisal Street
Salinas, CA 93908

And CC:

Supervisor Luis Alejo

Supervisor Mary Adams

Supervisor Christopher Lopez

Supervisor John Phillips