This past January high waves severely eroded the bluffs underlying Scenic Road at Carmel River State Beach, exposing a sewer line and causing the busy road to be closed. This had previously happened in 2013, making this a recurring issue. The County researched its short term options and decided to have the Carmel Area Wastewater District move the threatened sewer line out of harm’s way, which was quickly completed. They also decided to hire Granite Construction to repair the road and arm about 250 feet of the most severely eroded bluffs. They completed the job two weeks ahead of schedule and the road was reopened.
Now, the County needs to identify a long-term protection plan for another 750 feet of bluffs that are also in danger of severe erosion, and to obtain permits for its chosen project. The Conservancy (CRWC) has been assisting in this endeavor by working with State Senator Laird and his Chief Policy Advisor Kate Daniels to arrange a meeting with all the permitting agencies involved so that the recommended project has an optimal chance of being permitted. That productive meeting was held on April 27th and a follow-up meeting is being planned for later in May. CRWC (along with some Carmel Point residents) is also meeting regularly with the County’s Chief Administrator, Sonia de la Rosa, to help sustain the momentum for completing this project on schedule, and to offer our assistance in the approval process by the Board of Supervisors and all the permitting agencies. This improved process could serve as a model for future County projects that could benefit from input and active involvement by the residents that are directly affected by those projects.