The Big Sur Land Trust announced this week that the beginning of Phase 1 construction of the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project (Carmel River FREE) has been postponed. This tough decision was made to avoid jeopardizing potential incoming funding from FEMA. FEMA is moving towards a $25.3M award for project construction, but requires a completed environmental assessment before breaking ground. For this reason, the project will pause until the assessment is complete, which is expected within a few months.
In the meantime, other project elements are continuing to move forward. This includes restoration, habitat management planning, project agreements, and final design of the causeway. Big Sur Land Trust is also propagating plant species such as black cottonwood, arroyo willow, creeping wildrye, and blue elderberry, all of which will be used for future floodplain restoration.
Join the Big Sur Land Trust for a Carmel River FREE site visit on September 24th! More info here.