Carmel River Restoration II

Restoration Stories

The carefully engineered $5 million river channel work was a central part of the $84 million San Clemente Dam removal and river re-route project completed in 2015. It was designed to serve as a bridge for steelhead between the initiation of a brand-new, human-made channel and its eventual return to a natural state. The channel, which included 56 step pools designed to allow steelhead passage during low-flow periods, was intended to absorb significant storms over a multi-year period, allowing time for vegetation to grow and the river to slowly re-create the channel itself over time. The project is a public-private partnership of dam owner California American Water, NOAA and the state Coastal Conservancy, with additional funding by The Nature Conservancy and other conservation groups. This final video (created by Cal-Am – the owner of the dam) documents the final phase of the San Clemente Dam removal. It shows an overview of the dam’s history and features many of the folks who played key roles in making this a successful project. There are some cool time-lapse footage of the dam removal and the river reroute work. © California American Water