Docstoc

Dreaming the Salinas

Document Sample
Dreaming the Salinas Powered By Docstoc
					Dreaming the Salinas

Towards a Comprehensive River System Management
Strategy

A Collaborative Effort by NR 408 Spring 2011,
Natural Resources Management Department,
California Polytechnic State University




NR 408 Jencks
Table of Contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION                                                     5
VISION STATEMENT FOR SALINAS RIVER                                       5
PROBLEM STATEMENT                                                        5

PART II: KEY STAKEHOLDERS                                                5
II.1: AGRICULTURE                                                        5
STAKEHOLDERS                                                             5
TYPES OF AGRICULTURE                                                     5
AGRICULTURE AND CHEMICALS: REGULATIONS AND EFFECTS                       6
NITRATE GROUND WATER STUDY IN DEVELOPMENT                                6
DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION SURFACE WATER REGULATIONS             7
DRIFT:                                                                   7
RUNOFF MANAGEMENT APPLIES TO STORM WATER AND IRRIGATION WATER RUNOFF:    7
DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION AIR QUALITY MONITORING                7
AGRICULTURAL WATER USE                                                   8
ON FARM WATER CONSERVATION METHODS                                       9
IRRIGATION DISTRICT SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS                                  9
II.2: MUNICIPAL WATER COMPANIES                                         13
1.0 INTRODUCTION                                                        13
2.0 STAKES AND INTEREST: INDIVIDUAL CITIES                              13
2.1 MONTEREY COUNTY                                                     13
2.1.1 SALINAS                                                           13
2.2.2 KING CITY                                                         14
2.2.3 MONTEREY                                                          14
2.2.4 GREENFIELD                                                        14
2.2.5 SOLEDAD                                                           15
2.3 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY                                              15
2.3.1 CAMP ROBERTS                                                      15
2.3.2 PASO ROBLES                                                       15
2.3.3 ATASCADERO                                                        16
2.3.4 SAN LUIS OBISPO                                                   16
3.0 CONCLUSION                                                          17
4.0 REFERENCES.                                                         18
AGGREGATE COMPANIES                                                     19
PUBLIC                                                                  19
CULTURAL GROUPS                                                         19
STEELHEAD FISHERIES                                                     19
BACKGROUND ON STEELHEAD FISHERIES                                       19
THREATS TO THE SALINAS RIVER FISHERIES                                  20
OTHER SPECIES PRESENT                                                   21
COURT CASES REGARDING SALINAS RIVER FISHERIES                           21
CURRENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES                                            22
MONTEREY BAY                                                            26
NITRATES IN SALINAS RIVER WATERSHED                                     26
PESTICIDES IN SALINAS RIVER WATERSHED                                    26
LIST OF STAKEHOLDERS IN THE MONTEREY BAY AREA                            27
VISION STATEMENTS FOR NITRATES AND PESTICIDES IN MONTEREY BAY            28

PART III: WATER BUDGET                                                   31
HEADWATERS                                                               31
TRIBUTARIES                                                              31
APPROPRIATORS                                                            31
GROUNDWATER EXTRACTION                                                   31
MANDATORY DAM RELEASES                                                   31
CLIMATE                                                                  31

PART IV: EXISTING MANAGEMENT PLANS IN THE SALINAS WATERSHED              40
INTRODUCTION                                                              40
SALINAS RIVER WATERSHED MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN                            40
UPPER SALINAS RIVER WATERSHED ACTION PLAN                                 41
SALINAS VALLEY INTEGRATED REGIONAL WATER MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONALITY EQUIVALENT
PLAN                                                                      42
SALINAS RIVER PARKWAY CONSERVATION PLAN                                   43
CONCLUSION                                                                44

PART V: KEY ISSUES                                                       46
ASSESSMENT OF HEADWATERS                                                 46
DESIRED FUTURE CONDITION:                                                46
BACKGROUND AND SETTING:                                                  46
BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES:                                                    48
ISSUES AND CONCERNS:                                                     49
CURRENT WATER QUALITY                                                    49
LAKE NACIMIENTO                                                          49
SANTA MARGARITA LAKE                                                     49
HISTORY                                                                  49
WATER QUALITY FROM THE LAKE                                              50
SPECIES AND HEALTH                                                       50
FLOW RELEASED INTO THE SALINAS RIVER                                     51
RECREATION                                                               51
ISSUES                                                                   52
CONCERNS                                                                 52
PUBLIC EASEMENTS ON THE SALINAS                                          54
CULTURAL RESOURCES                                                       54
INTRODUCTION                                                             54
THE CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE SALINAS RIVER                                54
CURRENT AND HISTORICAL LAND USES                                         55
AREAS OF ARCHEOLOGICAL INTEREST AND POTENTIAL MITIGATION MEASURES        55
GROUNDWATER ORDINANCES IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY                         58
GROUNDWATER ORDINANCES IN MONTEREY COUNTY                                58
AGRICULTURE                                                              58
AGGREGATE REMOVAL                                                        58
LOW STREAM FLOW ON THE SALINAS                                           58
CLIMATE CHANGE                                                           58
PART VI: IMPLEMENTATION                                                  59
COORDINATION WITH SAN LUIS OBISPO AND MONTEREY COUNTIES                  59
PUBLIC OUTREACH                                                          59
INFORMATION/PUBLICATIONS                                                 59
EVENTS                                                                   60
TRAINING/VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES                                         61
EDUCATION                                                                62
OTHERS                                                                   62

GRANTSAPPENDICES                                                         63

APPENDICES                                                               64
THE SALINAS RIVER CHANNEL MAINTENANCE PROGRAM: INITIAL STUDY WITH MITIGATED
NEGATIVE DECLARATION, PUBLIC DRAFT 2009                                  65
INTRODUCTION                                                             68
AESTHETICS                                                               68
AGRICULTURE AND FOREST RESOURCES                                         70
AIR QUALITY                                                              71
BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES                                                     72
CULTURAL RESOURCES                                                       75
GEOLOGY AND SOILS                                                        76
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS                                                 77
HAZARDS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS                                          77
HYDROLOGY AND WATER QUALITY                                              79
LAND USE AND PLANNING                                                    80
MINERAL RESOURCES                                                        81
NOISE                                                                    81
POPULATION AND HOUSING                                                   82
PUBLIC SERVICES                                                          83
RECREATION                                                               83
TRANSPORTATION AND TRAFFIC                                               83
UTILITY AND SERVICE SYSTEMS                                              84
CONCLUSION                                                               84
NORTH SLO COUNTY MAP                                                     86
Part I: Introduction

Vision Statement for Salinas River
Problem Statement




Part II: Key Stakeholders

II.1: Agriculture
Stakeholders
It is difficult to find every single company or person who owns or operates agricultural
operations within the Salinas River watershed. Every person or corporation who operates
within the watershed is a stakeholder. They are stakeholders in the current and future
conditions of every tributary and stream within the Salinas River watershed.
Multiple Agricultural Stakeholders include: CA Farm Bureau Federation, County Farm
Bureaus, Coalition, Grower-Shipper Association, Strawberry Commission, Central Coast
Vineyard Team, and other Agricultural Industry Representatives

Types of Agriculture
Agriculture is the primary land use within the entire Salinas River watershed. Grazing
and pasture lands and dryland farming have historically been the dominant land use in the
upper watershed, but large areas in southern Monterey County and northern San Luis
Obispo County are being converted to vineyards. Irrigated cropland is predominant in
the lower watershed, primarily row crops such as lettuce, celery, broccoli, and
cauliflower on the valley floor, with grazing and vineyards on the upland areas. The
lower watershed is one of the most productive-agricultural areas in the world, with a
gross annual value of nearly $3.8 billion. The rapidly expanding wine-producing region
in the upper watershed around Paso Robles is also becoming a highly productive
agricultural area. “Salinas watershed management report”
The Salinas Valley is the center for Monterey County’s 3.8 billion-dollar agriculture
industry. Due to its temperate, Mediterranean- like climate and fertile soils, the county
has become the number one vegetable-producing region in the nation. The area supplies
80 percent of the nation’s lettuces and nearly the same percentages of artichokes.
Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, strawberries, peppers, squash, carrots, asparagus, celery,
tomatoes, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, garlic, onions and flowers are also grown in
abundance. In addition, Monterey County has become one of the largest premium grape
growing regions in California, with over 40,000 acres of wine grapes. The industry finds
strength in diverse variety.
Organic produce is an expanding market and had been incorporated into the holdings of
most large companies. There are currently over 14,000 acres of organic vegetables
grown in Monterey County (Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce).
The leading agriculture crops for the county of San Luis Obispo include wine grapes,
strawberries, and broccoli. There is a total of 1,164,500 acres of agriculture land, with
1,137,686 acres being harvested.
AGRICULTURE: WHERE IS IT AND WHAT KIND OF PRACTICES AND ACTIVITIES
OCCUR?
 Crop production is allowed anywhere within the unincorporated boundaries of San Luis
Obispo County. Grazing is an allowed use everywhere except within urban and village
reserve areas. Certain types of animal keeping requires permits, while the keeping of bees
must meet the County apiary ordinance and state law. Nursery operations are allowed on
in certain land use categories such as Agriculture and Rural Lands, while greenhouses
require land use permits based upon their size. Agricultural processing requires a permit
and may be limited to appropriate locations. Cities may have their own rules and
regulations.
Cultivation and tillage of the soil; the planting, growing, harvesting and storage of
agricultural commodities including associated pest prevention (including pesticide use)
and crop nutrition (fertilizer, manure and compost use); the storage and disposal of
manure; composting; the keeping and pollination services of bees; any practices
performed by a farmer or on a farm as incidental to those farming operations, including
preparation for market, delivery to storage or market, or delivery to carriers for
transportation to market.
 Noise, dust, light, odors, fumes, and insects; operation of machinery, pumps and fans;
night time lighting and harvesting operations; farm personnel, truck traffic, and slow-
moving equipment; the storage, warehousing and processing of agricultural products or
other inconveniences or discomforts associated with agricultural activities at any point
day or night, any day of the week, 365 days a year are all activities commonly conducted
for agricultural purposes (San Luis Obispo County Right to Farm Information).



Agriculture and Chemicals: Regulations and Effects

NITRATE GROUND WATER STUDY IN DEVELOPMENT
Senate Bill 2X1 (SB 2X1), section 83002.5, requires the State Water Board, in
consultation with other agencies, to develop pilot projects in the Tulare Lake Basin and
the Salinas Valley that focus on nitrate contamination. The work will be conducted by
University California, Davis and the objectives of the study are to:
      Identify source(s) of nitrate contamination in groundwater
      Estimate proportionate nitrate contributions to groundwater by source and
       category of discharger
         Identify and analyze options for reducing and preventing nitrate contamination of
          groundwater
         Identify costs associated with the identified options for reducing and preventing
          nitrate contamination of groundwater (Nitrate Project).

DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION SURFACE WATER REGULATIONS
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation is currently developing new
regulations to prevent pesticide contamination in surface water. Two components of the
draft conceptual surface water regulations are related to production agriculture: Drift and
Runoff Management. Below is a summary of the proposed regulations.

Drift:
         Ground applications: shall not be made within 25 feet of any sensitive aquatic site
         Airblast, high pressure (≥60 psi) wand or high-pressure hand gun applications
          shall not be made within 100 feet of sensitive aquatic site
         Aerial applications not within 150 feet of sensitive aquatic site

Runoff Management applies to storm water and irrigation water runoff:
         No application if soil moisture is at field capacity and a storm is forecasted within
          48 hrs of application, or a storm likely to produce runoff is likely to occur within
          48 hrs (unclear).
         Or, apply only if application is followed by technology or product that degrades
          the pesticide (Landguard, etc.).
OR.

         Rain: Divert or contain any runoff for 72 hours before releasing into a sensitive
          aquatic site.
         Irrigation: for 4 weeks after application, divert or hold any irrigation runoff for 72
          hours from the time runoff would start before releasing into a sensitive aquatic
          site (Surface Water Regulatory Issues).

DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION AIR QUALITY MONITORING
DPR is establishing a network to sample ambient air for multiple pesticides in several
communities. The program includes a regular monitoring schedule, over 5 plus years,
beginning in 2010.Sites proposed include Ripon (S of Stockton), Shafter (NW
Bakersfield), and Salinas
The data will be used to evaluate risk assessment, risk management and to determine
effectiveness of regulatory programs. It will also be used to enable DPR to make more
accurate estimates of long-term exposure and resulting risk the health risk and as
necessary improve protective measures against pesticide exposure.
If and when DPR implements voluntary or regulatory restrictions, the air network will
provide evidence of the effectiveness of the restrictions. For example, use limitations
(township caps) for 1,3-dichloropropene and methyl bromide are based on achieving
certain target concentrations. The air network will provide data to determine if the target
concentrations are met. Similarly, the air monitoring network will provide data to
determine trends over time within the monitored communities. If DPR can relate
pesticide use levels to detected concentrations, the effect of application method changes
or other restrictions on air concentrations can be estimated (Environmental Affairs).
EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES CASE STUDY
In 2000 and 2001 over 18 months water chemistry tests were conducted in an ephemeral
stream in the Gabilan Range on the eastern border of the Salinas Valley. The stream
carries some natural water flow during the wettest winter months, and headwater flows
go underground above the study area. Flow in the lower portion of the creek is
dominated by agricultural drainwater.
Toxicity test results over 18 months in 200 and 2001 were compared to physical and
water quality analyses, as well as selected pesticide measures in both water and sediment
matrices. Ecological impacts were assessed by characterizing macroinvertebrate
community structure upstream and downstream of the drain water inputs.
Toxicity in the river varies seasonally and spatially.             Water tests found the
organophosphate pesticides chlorpyrifos and diazinon.             The only trace organic
compounds detected in river water were DDE, dieldrin, and two herbicide, diuron and
fenuron. As with previous studies, this study demonstrates that toxic concentrations of
pesticides in drain waters are entering the Salinas River. Results of the study suggest that
toxic concentrations of pesticides are entering the river, and that agricultural drain water
inputs are impacting the macroinvertebrate community of the system. Drain water may
be interacting with other factors such as habitat and turbidity to affect the river ecosystem
(Anderson et al, 2004).

Agricultural Water Use
Under Assembly Bill 3616, the Agricultural Efficient Water Management Act of
1990, Water Code Section 10900-10904; the objective of the Agricultural Water
Management Planning & Implementation Program is to provide technical, financial and
administrative assistance to the Agricultural Water Management Council and to assist
water districts throughout the State develop Agricultural Water Management Plans and
implement cost-effective Efficient Water Management Practices (EWMPs) (Water Use
Efficiency).
California produces over 250 different crops and leads the nation in production of 75
commodities. California is the sole producer of 12 different commodities including
almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, raisins, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes
and walnuts. Most of this production would not be possible without irrigation. In average
year California agriculture irrigates 9.6 million acres using roughly 34 million acre-feet
of water of the 43 million acre-feet diverted from surface waters or pumped from
groundwater.
California's population growth and greater awareness of environmental water
requirements has increased the pressure on California agriculture to use water more
efficiently and to make more water available for urban and environmental uses.
Decreasing agricultural water use is difficult for several reasons. First, California
agricultural water use when considered on a broad regional scale, for the most part, is
very efficient. Individual fields and farms in some regions may have low efficiencies, but
water that is not used on one farm or field is often used on a nearby farm or field.
Secondly, for most crops, production and yield is directly related to crop water use. A
decrease in applied water will often directly decrease yield. The key is management
strategies that improve water use efficiency without decreasing yield.
There are technologies and management strategies available that conserve water while
maintaining yield and production standards. These technologies and management
strategies like improved irrigation scheduling and crop specific irrigation management
often not only conserve water, but also save energy and decrease grower's costs.
Below is a list of commonly used agricultural water conservation methods for both on-
farm and district level implementation.

ON FARM WATER CONSERVATION METHODS
Irrigation Scheduling
Deciding when and how much water to apply to a field has a significant impact on the
total amount of water used by the crop water use efficiency and irrigation efficiency. A
number of different scheduling systems have been developed that can use either soil-
plant or atmosphere-based measurements to determine when to irrigate. Using a more
scientific approach to scheduling has generally been shown to decrease the amount of
water applied while improving yield.

Tailwater Return Systems
To provide adequate water to the low end of the field, surface irrigation requires that a
certain amount of water be spilled or drained off as tailwater. Tailwater return systems
catch this runoff and pump the water back to the top of the field for reuse.

Irrigation System Improvements
Irrigation system improvement involves modifying the irrigation method or use of
hardware and software to properly apply water to the field while minimizing water losses.
For example improved furrows, combination of furrow and sprinkler, and changing from
surface irrigation (flood, furrow and border check) to pressurized systems. Changing
from surface irrigation to pressurized systems (sprinkler, drip, microirrigation) generally
increases irrigation distribution uniformity and decreases applied water, although with
certain soil types and applications, surface irrigation can be very efficient. In California
there has been a trend to shift from surface irrigation to pressurized systems.

IRRIGATION DISTRICT SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
Canal Lining
Lining canals with high seepage rates can result in significant water savings. This is
especially important where the groundwater is saline and the water cannot be reused
without desalination.

Canal Structure Improvements
Replacing or improving canal structures can improve an irrigation district's ability to
manage and control water in the district and reducing spillage.

Remote Monitoring and Control
Many irrigation districts are installing remote monitoring and in some cases remote
control systems such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA).
Remote control systems allow district to measure flow or water depth and allows the
district to remotely operate hydraulic structures or devices. Remote monitoring and
control systems allow districts to improve water management and control (Water Use
Efficiency).
The following excerpts from the “Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements
For Discharge From Irrigated Lands” are offered to serve as background information
concerning the regulation of irrigation discharge in California.


EXCERPTED FROM:     CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER QUALITY
CONTROL BOARD; CENTRAL COAST REGION; DRAFT; ORDER NO. R3-
2011-0006; CONDITIONAL   WAIVER   OF   WASTE   DISCHARGE
REQUIREMENTS FOR DISCHARGES FROM IRRIGATED LANDS

In the 2004 Agricultural Order, the Central Coast Water Board found that the discharge
of waste from irrigated lands has impaired and polluted the waters of the State and of the
United States within the Central Coast Region, has impaired the beneficial uses, and has
caused nuisance. The 2004Agricultural Order expired on July 9, 2009, and the Central
Coast Water Board renewed it for a term of one year until July 10, 2010 (Order No. R3-
2009-0050). On July 8, 2010, the Central Coast Water Board renewed the 2004
Agricultural Order again for an additional eight months until March 31, 2011 (Order No.
R3-2010-0040). This updated Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for
Discharges from Irrigated Lands, Order No. R3-2011-0006 (Order), revises the 2004
Agricultural Order as set forth herein.


EXCERPTED FROM: APPENDIX A; Staff Recommendations for Agricultural
Order; ORDER NO. R3-2011-0006;CONDITIONAL WAIVER OF WASTE
DISCHARGE REQUIREMENTS FOR DISCHARGES FROM IRRIGATED
LANDS

According to California Water Code Section 13263(g), the discharge of waste to waters
of the State is a privilege, not a right. The Central Coast Water Board is the principal
state agency in the Central Coast Region with primary responsibility for the coordination
and control of water quality. (Cal. Wat. Code § 13001, Legislative Intent). Water Code
section 13260(a) requires that any person discharging waste or proposing to discharge
waste that could affect the quality of the waters of the State, other than into a community
sewer system, shall file with the appropriate Regional Board a report of waste discharge
(ROWD) containing such information and data as may be required by the Central Coast
Water Board, unless the Central Coast Water Board waives such requirement. Water
Code section 13263 requires the Central Coast Water Board to prescribe waste discharge
requirements (WDRs), or waive WDRs, for the discharge. The WDRs must implement
relevant water quality control plans and the Water Code. Water Code section 13269(a)
provides that the Central Coast Water Board may waive the requirement to obtain WDRs
for a specific discharge or specific type of discharge, if the Central Coast Water Board
determines that the waiver is consistent with any applicable water quality control plan
and such waiver is in the public interest, provided that any such waiver of WDRs is
conditional, includes monitoring conditions unless waived, does not exceed five years in
duration, and may be terminated at any time by the Central Coast Water Board.

The Central Coast Water Board recognizes that Dischargers may not achieve immediate
compliance with all requirements. Thus, this Order provides reasonable schedules for
Dischargers to reach full compliance over many years by implementing management
practices and monitoring and reporting programs that demonstrate and verify measurable
progress annually. Dischargers must submit monitoring reports in compliance with MRP
Order No. R3-2011-0006, electronically in a format specified by the Executive Officer.
Dischargers must submit technical reports that the Executive Officer may require to
determine compliance with this Order as authorized by Water Code section 13267,
electronically in a format specified by the Executive Officer.
                                       Works Cited
Anderson, B. S., J. W. Hunt, B. M. Phillips, P. A. Nicely, V. De Vlaming, V. Connor, N.
        Richard, and R. S. Tjeerdema. "Integrated Assessment of the Impacts of
        Agricultural Drainwater in the Salinas River (California, USA)." Environmental
        Pollution 124 (2004): 523-32. Print.
"Environmental Affairs: Monterey Co. Office of the Agricultural Commissioner."
        Monterey Co. Office of the Agricultural Commissioner. Web. 01 June 2011.
        <http://ag.co.monterey.ca.us/pages/environmental-affairs#dpr-surface-water-
        regulations>.
"Nitrate Project: SB X2 1 Pilot Projects in the Tulare Lake Basin/Salinas Valley." State
        Water Resources Control Board. 5 May 2011. Web. 01 June 2011.
        <http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/nitrate_project/index.shtml>.
"Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce." The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce.
        Web. 01 June 2011. <http://www.salinaschamber.com/ag_industry.asp>.
San Luis Obispo County Right to Farm Information. San Luis Obispo County Agriculture
        Department. Print.
"Surface Water Regulatory Issues." California Department of Pesticide Regulation Home
        Page.               Web.                01              June               2011.
        <http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/surfwtr/regulatory.htm>.
"Water Use Efficiency." California Department of Water Resources. Web. 01 June 2011.
        <http://www.water.ca.gov/wateruseefficiency/agricultural/agmgmt.cfm>.
"Water Use Efficiency." California Department of Water Resources. Web. 01 June 2011.
        <http://www.water.ca.gov/wateruseefficiency/agricultural/>.
II.2: Municipal Water Companies
1.0 Introduction
The Salina’s river travels a hundred and seventy miles, in this span it runs through two
counties and numerous cities. In the following section we shall examine the municipal
water stakeholders in the major cities that rely upon the Salinas. A city was deemed to be
major if it possessed a population over ten thousand along with possessing a formal water
system. The water system could be either privately or publicly run.
Following the designation of major cities an examination by the following categories:
public or private water supply, citizens served, growth rate, sources of water, expansion
plans, general conservation efforts, Salinas’s river management plans, Salina’s river
Conservation plans, and dependency on the Salinas was performed. Information was
taken from individual cities web addresses and the New York Times toxic water series.
These categories were used to devise each cities general water description, policies, and
future needs.

2.0 Stakes and Interest: Individual Cities
In this section counties along with individual cities will be examined.

2.1 Monterey County
The County of Monterey occupies the upper half of the Salinas River Valley. Its cities are
primary agricultural driven with relatively small populations, Salinas city stands as an
exception. Citizens are clustered in the cities of Salinas and Monterey the two largest
cities of the county. As a county Monterey sponsors the Monterey County Resource
Agency an organization that researches and provides conservation efforts. This
organization provides each city along with unincorporated land both general and
Salinas’s specific conservation methods.

2.1.1 Salinas
The city of Salinas sits at he most northern point of the river. It is the largest city with a
population hovering near 150,000. Growth in the region was calculated being at 2.43%
over the last ten years. The private companies of Cal-Water and Alco handle water
distribution. Cal-Water is a large corporation that spans multiple cities throughout the
state of California. At the time of this report it serves an estimated 98,730 citizens (65%)
of Salinas. Water for these two corporations comes from aquifers and underground wells
that are replenished by the Salinas River. These basins are being over drafted to meet
demand. In terms of conservation Cal-Water has readily available general water
conservation plans and efforts listed on its website. These plans primary indicate
domestic water conservation efforts. While plans are listed little is offered about local
integration in Salinas. Cal-Water also does not possess Salinas’s river specific
management or conservation plan. Lack of site-specific plans is most likely rooted in that
Cal-Water manages numerous cities at once. At the time of writing this report a website
and subsequent information for the Alco Company could not be obtained. Salina’s city
website only possesses links to the Cal-Water website for information regarding city
water policy. No information could be found on the cities website about expansion plans
over the water system. It may be that at the moment expansion is not warranted, as the
population growth is relatively low. It can however be reasonable concluded that at some
point in the future the city will need to expand its water sources. Over drafting of the
underground water sources will at some point exhaust the finite resource. It would be
wise for the city of Salinas to implement management policies now in order to avoid
future problems. Allowing for proper recharge of the underground aquifers would be the
best policy.

2.2.2 King City
King City sits near the end of the river south of Salinas. Currently it possesses a
population under 11,600 making it the smallest city examined. Growth in the region was
calculated being at 8.135 over the last ten years. This growth while appearing large has
may be overstated, as the population is still relatively low. As with Salinas’s the private
company of Cal-Water handles water distribution, Cal-Water being a large corporation
spanning multiple cities throughout the state. At the time of this report it serves an
estimated 11,150 citizens (96%) in the city proper. Water for the city is entirely driven
from underground wells that are replenished by the Salinas River. Cal-Water provides
general water conservation plans, but no city or Salina’s river specific plans. King city’s
website only possesses links to the Cal-Water website for information regarding city
water policy, little to now information about the city’s water if given. King city would be
wise to expand the availability of information regarding its water supply. Transparency
can allow citizens to understand the need to conserve and maintain the Salina’s river. In
addition the city needs to develop specific management practices that are tailored to the
city itself.

2.2.3 Monterey
Monterey sits on the ocean near the end of the river south west of Salinas. Monterey is
unique in this study as it owns a declining population rate of -6.7%. Population for the
city proper has been given to be 30,131. Water distribution is handled the private
company of California –American water. Cal-Am is similar to other large water
corporations that in that it spans multiple cities throughout the nation. Water for the city
comes from the Carmel River and Seaside Groundwater Basin, which are in turn filled by
the Salinas River. Cam-Am provides has general water conservation plans and efforts on
its website. No information is given on incorporating these plans into their respective
cities. It also does not possess Salinas’s river specific management or conservation plan.
The declining city population makes it difficult to gauge future impacts on the river. If
population continues to decline then demand on water from the river will naturally
decrease. However a declining population cannot be always counted on.

2.2.4 Greenfield
Greenfield is another small community located in the northern region of the Salinas river
valley. It has a population hovering near the 13,000 mark. Growth in the city over the
past ten years has been 22.95%. While the rate is remarkable it must also be taken into
the context of the low overall population rate. Greenfield takes this growth rate as a sign
it needs to expand water storage and is embarking on a plan to build a 1.5 million gallon
storage facility. Meaning that the city will have to acquire new water rights from the
river, creating more demand on a already strained system. The water distribution is
handled by the city itself with the Greenfield public works department. The department
relies solely on wells for its water supply, serving 12,948 citizens. The public works
department gives no guidance on water conservation efforts. It similarly has no
information regarding river management and conservation plans. Efforts should be made
to implement water conservation plans to help lower demand on the river. The city of
Greenfield cannot rely upon the though that it can acquire new water rights from the
Salina’s.

2.2.5 Soledad
Soledad is a small community located in the northern region of the Salinas river valley. It
has a population hovering near the 13,000 mark. Growth in the city over the past ten
years has been 33.9%. While the rate is remarkable it must also be taken into the context
of the low overall population rate. Soledad has not listed or taken any efforts to expand
its water supply system. The water distribution is handled by the city itself with the
Soledad Water department. The department relies solely on wells for its water supply,
serving 12,789 citizens. The water department has general guidance for conservation
listed on its website. These general guidelines however not enforced and the city itself
says they are not in effect. It has no information regarding river management and
conservation plans. It would be best for the city to enforce the voluntary guidelines that it
already has in place. By being proactive the City of Soledad can avoid future problems.

2.3 San Luis Obispo County
The County of San Luis Obispo occupies the lower half of the Salinas River Valley. Its
cities are midsized and possess extensive agricultural operations. Unique to the area is
Camp Roberts and Cal Poly, two institutions that add many people to the area but
unofficially counted in census data. Cities in the county have been largely more proactive
in water conservation than their counterparts in Monterey County. Cities of the county
have begun the Nacimiento Water Project, a project that aims at building dams and
pipelines to augment the counties groundwater supply.

2.3.1 Camp Roberts
Camp Roberts is a military base for the Air National Guard. The base has a population of
20,380, which remains relative stable. Water sources for the base come from the three
wells that draw on the Paso Robles groundwater basin. No information regarding the
management or conservation efforts for the base could be found at the time of writing this
report.

2.3.2 Paso Robles
Paso Robles is a mid sized community sitting near the middle of the Salinas River. Its
community is size is rapidly growing at a rate of 19.32% over the last ten years. The city
operates its own municipal water company titled the Paso Robles Water Department.
This Department currently serves roughly 22,500 citizens. Water for the city exclusively
comes from underground sources, specifically the Paso Robles Basin and Salinas River
underflow. The city lists water conservation plans on its website and integrates them into
the community. Citizens can receive rebates if they subscribe to certain policies set forth
by the city. Rebating encourage citizens participation in healthy water practices. These
plans include domestic and agricultural methods to conserve water. Undoubtedly these
efforts are being made to help the city cope with their rising population. What makes
Paso Robles unique is that they were the only city to list Salinas Specific conservation
efforts on their city website. Paso Robles is buying up property on the Salinas and turning
into to a wildlife reserve. In addition the city gives other Salinas specific conservation
plans and policies. If a model were to be used for the other municipal members Paso
Robles website and practices would be the best choice. While the city is being proactive
in water conservation it will need to expand its water resource. Even with conservation
methods the city is rapidly running through its underground water supply. Paso aims at
augmenting it underground water with participation in the Nacimiento water project.

2.3.3 Atascadero
Atascadero is another mid sized city similar to that of Paso Robles. It sits just south of
Paso Robles in the lower section of the Salinas River Valley. Similarly to Paso the
community is rapidly growing at 7.14% over the last ten years. It differs from Paso
Robles in that a private company handles the water distribution of the city. The
Atascadero Mutual Water Company handles almost the entire cities water system.
Serving some 25,000 customers, the company is by far the largest provider in the area.
Water for the city comes from wells that extract water from underground aquifers.
Atascadero hopes to supplement this water source with its participation in the Nacimiento
water project. Citing their growing populous the city has partnered with other local cities
to expand water supply. Atascadero’s official city website merely officers a link to the
private companies website. Once arriving at the Mutual Water Companies site, one can
find general water conservation practices. Little is said however on how the company
integrates these systems into their water supply. Atascadero could benefit from having a
set plan on implementing the water conservation efforts that company lists. Offering
monetary rewards has often been a successful way to get citizens to conserve water. The
city should examine Paso Robles practices to help implement policy changes.

2.3.4 San Luis Obispo
At the headwaters of the Salinas River sits the city of San Luis Obispo. It is the second
largest city sitting on the Salinas. With a population of near 43,000 San Luis Obispo, the
city is relatively stagnant with a growth rate of 0.62%. It water sources come from the
Salinas Reservoir (Santa Margarita Lake) Whale Rock Reservoir, Nacimiento Reservoir,
recycled water, and groundwater. Its citizens are served by a publicly run water system
under the San Luis Obispo Water Department. Currently 42,500 citizens rely upon the
city for water supply. While the population has remained stagnate the city has been
proactive in securing new water sources. San Luis Obispo is the lead agency in the
Nacimiento Water Project. It also has been the proactive in conservation efforts of its
water; specifically the city uses plants to recycle water. The city itself offers numerous
methods of water conservation on its website and shows how they integrate these into the
system. Citizens can even receive monetary benefits if they follow city policies on water
conservation.      While the city supplies bountiful information on general water
conservation efforts it is mum on Salinas specific criteria. As San Luis Obispo has the
critical role on being at the head of the Salinas River it would be ideal for it to develop
Salina’s specific conservation plans. San Luis Obispo could provide a shining example
for all the other stakeholders to follow. As it is now the largest recycle of water it would
have little problem adding additional conservation methods.
3.0 Conclusion
The different cities of the Salina’s river valley represent many different forms of water
management. Paso Robles has by far taken the lead in providing not only general
conservation practices but also Salina’s specific plans. It should be noted that cities might
very well have plans to conserve the Salinas River but access to them is limited. If this is
the case the individual city should make efforts similar to that of San Luis Obispo and
Paso Robles. Both of these cities provided their data in easy to access manners on the
official city website. The Salina’s river valley cities each could improve by making
information regarding conservation more readily available. Average citizens will not take
extraordinary amounts of effort to find city management plans and conservation benefits.
Furthermore efforts should be made by the privately held water companies to provide
site-specific conservation plans. Cal-Water and Cal-Am only provided general
conservation efforts that were not tailored to the individual city and region it was
providing too. It is encouraging however that Paso Robles has begun efforts to conserve
the Salinas hopefully other cities will follow.
4.0 References.
City of Salinas:http://www.ci.salinas.ca.us/
King City: http://www.kingcity.com/
City of Soledad: http://www.ci.soledad.ca.us/
City of Monterey:http://www.monterey.org/
City of Greenfield: http://ci.greenfield.ca.us/
City of Paso Robles: http://www.prcity.com/
City of Atascadero: http://www.atascadero.org/
City of San Luis Obispo:http://www.slocity.org/
Camp Roberts:http://www.calguard.ca.gov/CpRbts/Pages/default.aspx
Monterey County Resource Agency: http://www.mcwra.co.monterey.ca.us/
County of San Luis Obispo: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/site4.aspx
County of Monterey: http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/
New York Times Toxic Water Series: http://projects.nytimes.com/toxic-waters
II.3 Aggregate Companies
II.4 Public
II.5 Cultural Groups



II.6 Steelhead Fisheries
1.0 Background on Steelhead Fisheries
The steelhead fishery is a major natural stakeholder of the Salinas River. The river
provides habitat for steelhead migration, feeding, and spawning. Any modifications to
water quality or the layout of the river and its tributaries directly affect the fish’s ability
to survive. If river modifications alter the steelhead population, those that are ecologically
connected to the steelhead will directly be affected as well. Steelhead are considered by
many biologists and ecologists to be keystone species; their absence from their natural
ecosystems will have a more than drastic affect on several other species.
In this project’s case, a fishery is considered as “a fishing ground or area where fish are
caught,” or simply, a fish population of the same species present in a specifically defined
area. Steelhead, or Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walbaum, are the most noted fishery present
throughout the Salinas River. Steelhead are defined as the anadromous form of rainbow
trout, meaning that they migrate from freshwater to the ocean, and return to freshwater to
spawn. They typically move to the ocean after approximately two years of living in
freshwater. Unlike many other Pacific salmon, the Coastal Steelhead is able to spawn
more than once in their lifetime, though they typically only survive long enough to spawn
once (“Steelhead, Central California”). Female steelhead dig a nest in the stream where
there is a suitable amount of gravel where they deposit their batch of eggs. They deposit
multiple nests into different spots in the river at once, because the roe are seldom allowed
to hatch due to a number of external factors. There are two types of steelhead, winter and
summer, which are designated by the season during which enter their home stream
(Watershed Fisheries Report). Steelhead can live as long as eleven years, but many do not
due to deteriorating conditions in their natural habitats (“Steelhead, Central California”).
The history of steelhead in the Salinas River has been extremely unstable. The Salinas
River was historically known to have large population of steelhead, which have started to
decrease due to human activities on and around the river. Prior to 1850, it was estimated
that there were anywhere between one and two million steelhead present (Hunt, 2008).
The hydrology of the Salinas River notably changed during the 1950’s and 1960’s, when
the San Antonio and Nacimiento dams were constructed to retain winter runoff. Other
levees were constructed to restrict channel migration and prevent flooding. Surface water
flows during the summer months were increased due to releases from upstream reservoirs
(MCWRA 2003). As a result, in 1960 it was estimated that there were about 600,000 fish,
which was reduced by over fifty percent in 1980 to only 275,000. As the development of
California progressed, the numbers continued to decrease to the present level of only
about 3,500 fish (Hunt, 2008).
2.0 Threats to the Salinas River Fisheries
The Salinas River’s proximity to poorly managed agricultural and urban developments
have made it susceptible to many negative impacts. The historic function of the Salinas
River has been altered dramatically to cater to human needs, with little consideration for
endemic wildlife and vegetation.
One of the main threats to steelhead in the Salinas River are manmade structures that
hinder or even stop natural migration patterns, which reduce spawning rates as well as
reduce habitat. Examples of man-made structures include road crossings, dams, fences,
and other human devices. Dams are a major impact to steelhead as they prohibit
migration to upstream habitat. The first dam on the Salinas was built near Santa
Margarita and then later, Nacimiento and San Antonio Rivers were also dammed (WFR),
which caused a major loss in population. Many streams have also been altered to put in
these structures. Conditions that were once favorable to steelhead, such as lush
vegetation, cover and pools, are now severely reduced or completely gone. One common
situation is stream straightening for road construction, causing extensive erosion,
increased water velocity, and pool reduction (WFR III5).
Another threat is decreased water quality caused by: excessive sedimentation from
erosion due to lack of vegetation; nutrient loading from surrounding agriculture
operations; runoff from urban areas; and toxic chemicals. In parts of the Salinas River,
the bottoms are becoming lower and the stream banks are becoming steeper, conditions
which inevitably contribute to extensive erosion. The lack of natural flooding, which
slowed the flow of water, the river produces high speeds that degrade the river bottom
(WFR). The culmination of these elements are highly detrimental to juvenile steelhead
survival as food sources, water levels and vegetative cover decrease (“Species Profile.”)
Coupled with degraded water quality, reduction in water quantity is caused by increased
demands for water from the Salinas River. The demands stem from agricultural irrigation,
population increase, forestry and mining operations, and drought intensification as a
result of climate change. The reduction in water reduces the amount of habitat viable for
the steelhead. The low amount of water can also be attributed to lack of vegetation as
water cannot infiltrate the soil(WFRIII-19). When water levels are low enough, off-road
vehicles that frequent the dry creek damage the channel by compacting gravel, killing
young vegetation and leaving vehicle debris in the creek beds(WFR III8). Furthermore,
lower water levels lead to increased temperatures, pushing the steelhead past their limits
of tolerance. As vegetation slowly declines and the width of the river expands, more area
is exposed to sunlight, increasing water temperature(WFR III-16). Another issue which
should be noted is genetic modification from hatchery fish and other introduced fish. In
some cases, introduced species often crowd out the endemic populations and end up
replacing the endemic species. Lastly, transient populations commonly impede stream
flow, predate fish, litter, and defecate in the water. Many of these situations are difficult
to address as they largely stem from non-point sources.
The current ecological status of the steelhead fisheries present in the Salinas River is
somewhat grim. Steelhead were federally listed as threatened in 1997, and reconfirmed
again in 2006 (“Salinas River NWR”). The National Marine Fisheries Service has
designated the Salinas River Basin as critical habitat for steelhead (“Salinas River
NWR”). “A priority number of “3” was assigned to the CCC steelhead DPS in
accordance with the Recovery Priority Guidelines (55 FR 24296, Section B) and
indicates the priority of the species for recovery plan development and implementation.
“Ranking for CCC steelhead is based on a high degree of threat, a low-moderate recovery
potential, and anticipated conflict with development projects or other economic activity”
(Hunt, 2008).

3.0 Other Species Present
The current diversity of fish species within the Salinas River is not very extensive.
Steelhead are the dominant stock throughout the entirety of the river’s length. The
Sacramento pike minnow is also commonly found throughout the river, along with
mosquito fish and Sacramento perch. Other aquatic species include crayfish and bullfrogs
(“Salinas River.”). More diversity is found in the Salinas Lagoon, where the Salinas
River empties into Monterey Bay. Besides steelhead, carp, bluegill, whitefish, and starry
flounder are only a few of the 23 fish species documented throughout the refuge waters.
The Salinas Lagoon is part of the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, under federal
protection (“Salinas River NWR”).

4.0 Court Cases Regarding Salinas River Fisheries
There have been recent lawsuits involving the coastal California steelhead. In November
2010, the Coastal Alliance for Species Enhancement filed a lawsuit in San Mateo County
requesting “Court order the Governor as well as the Resources Agency, State Parks, and
the Department of Fish and Game to comply with and enforce the California Endangered
Species Act in the mismanaged, state-owned Pescadero Marsh Nature Preserve located
on the coast of San Mateo County” (“Coastal Alliance”). This habitat had been home to a
number of species that were either threatened or endangered, including the steelhead.
This habitat has been severely degraded since the 1990’s, due to lack of steelhead species
law enforcement. The work that has been done on the marsh in the recent years has left it
in an altered state that is not suitable for the species that are present. There was an
alteration to a major sandbar in the marsh, which has created a seasonal delay and altered
salinity (“Coastal Alliance”). In the document that was sent in to the Supreme Court, the
steelhead received special mention , saying “An unknown number of juvenile steelhead
suffocate each year in the brackish waters of the marsh when rains force open the sandbar
at the mouth of the lagoon and the ocean flows in like a fire hose, mixing layers of
freshwater and saltwater. Scientists believe this mixing stirs up toxic hydrogen sulfide
and robs the water of oxygen the fish require to breathe”(“Coastal Alliance”). This is an
issue that locals in the area have experience frequently experienced, and they have finally
had enough.
Another case that involving the steelhead was resolved in August 2010. Irrigation
districts in the central valley were attempting to delist the steelhead, so that they would be
able to use more water without worrying about the negative implications the steelhead
would face. The irrigation counties argued that the listing violated the Endangered
Species Act because “steelhead and rainbow trout interbreed, and the statute therefore
requires NMFS to treat them as a single species” (“California’s Wild Steelhead”). The
steelhead was supported by a variety of groups, from Trouts Unlimited to the Center for
Biological Diversity and The Federation of Fly Fishers. When the final ruling came
down, the court ruled in favor of protection of the steelhead. This court ruling is a
positive sign for the future of steelhead, because they have a large amount of public and
legal support. If current support patterns continue throughout the Salinas River, then it is
possible for the Steelhead to recover to historic populations.

5.0 Current Management Practices
There are several management techniques and goals that are taking place in order to
foster the recovery of steelhead, both in the Salinas River and throughout California. One
of these is the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, which was established in 1981.
According to the Department of Fish and Game website, this program was established “in
response to rapidly declining populations of wild salmon and steelhead trout and
deteriorating fish habitat in California” (“Fisheries Restoration”). Since its creation, it has
invested over 180 million dollars to support projects that will help to facilitate habitat and
growth of the species. Between 2000 and 2006, they claim to have treated 895 miles of
stream, stabilized 53 miles of bank, and restored over 5000 acres of riparian habitat
(“Fisheries Restoration”). Although this is a step in the right direction, it is not helping
the populations of steelhead, as they have not seen any noticeable increase in population
size since the induction of the program.
Since steelhead are a popular species to fly fisherman, they have started practicing certain
techniques in order to help increase the populations. A key to the recovery of steelhead is
fish recycling, which means that once they are caught they are then released so that they
are not removing any steelhead from the population (Milne, 2011). In order to ensure that
none of the steelhead die in this process, strict regulations have been set by the
Department of Fish and Game. One of these regulations is the use of barbless hooks,
which helps to ensure that the fish do not die when they are hooked by the fisherman.
Fishing is only allowed on Wednesday, weekends, and holidays (Milne, 2011).
Currently, there is heated controversy regarding a proposed maintenance project along
the Salinas River, referred to as the Salinas River Channel Maintenance Program.
Recently, farmers began clearing debris and vegetation from the river to keep water from
backing up, and reducing flooding potential. However, environmentalists argue that
clearing practices are damaging the highly fragile ecosystem within the river, which
threatened species such as steelhead depend on for survival. Changing one part of the
river affects has lasting affects on the entirety of the river, regarding flow and habitat for
steelhead. Also, natural vegetation serves as a buffer between the agricultural fields and
the river, absorbing some of the silt and pesticides that would normally enter the water
and reduce its quality (Taylor 1).
As a result of these challenges from environmental groups, an Initial Study for the project
was published in June of 2009, and found to have a Negative Declaration (“Salinas River
Maintenance”). After the project was open to public comment later that year, the
Monterey Coastkeeper environmental group challenged the negative declaration,
claiming that the findings used to establish the decision were “flawed.” Based on this
evidence, the Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered that a full environmental
impact report be conducted for the project in late 2009. As of now, funding for the EIR is
still lacking. Without permits to begin the project, the river has begun to undergo
immense growth of vegetation and debris accumulation, beginning the transformation
back into its original state (Taylor 1).
Without permission to continue with their river-clearing practices, farmers have sat back
and blamed the March 2011 flooding and ruined crops on the river’s lack of maintenance
(Taylor 1). Additionally, this vegetation growth has been blamed for preventing sufficient
downstream flow and groundwater recharge, and thus water availability for land owners
("Farm Bureau Monterey").
                                         References

"California's Wild Steelhead Win, Irrigators Lose Court Battle." Environment News
       Service. Environment News Service, 20 Aug. 2010. Web. 03 June 2011.
       <http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2010/2010-08-20-094.html>.

"Central California Coast Steelhead DPS." NMFS Southwest Region Front Page.
       NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Regional Office, 20 Feb.
       2008. Web. 02 June 2011.
       <http://www.swr.noaa.gov/recovery/Steelhead_CCCS.htm>.

"Coastal Alliance for Species Enhancement Asks Superior Court Judge for Help."
       Coastal Alliance for Species Enhancement. San Mateo Times, 9 Nov. 2010. Web.
       03 June 2011. <http://caseforourenvironment.org/coastal-alliance-for-species-
       enhancement-sues-governor-and-top-state-officials/>.

"Fisheries Restoration Grant Program." California Department of Fish and Game. Web.
       03 June 2011.
       <http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Administration/Grants/FRGP/index.asp>.

Hunt, Lawrence E. "South-Central California Coast Steelhead Recovery Planning Area:
       Conservation Action Planning Workbooks Threat Assessment." Green Space
       Cambria, 2008. Web. 1 June 2011.
       <http://www.greenspacecambria.org/Documents/SCC_Steelhead_Threats_Assess
       ment_Summary.pdf>.

Milne, Brian. "Steelhead Fishing in Central California." Fly Fishing. About.com. Web.
       28 May 2011. <http://flyfishing.about.com/od/wheretofish/a/Cali-Steelhead.htm>.

"Salinas River." Anglerweb. Web. 30 May 2011.
       <http://www.anglerweb.com/fishingspots/FishingSpotDetails.aspx?locationid=83
       54>.

"Salinas River Channel Maintenance." Farm Bureau Monterey n. pag. Web. 28 May
       2011. <http://montereycfb.com/index.php?page=salinas-river>.

"Salinas River Maintenance." (2009): n. pag. Web. 30 May 2011.
       <http://www.mcwra.co.monterey.ca.us/Agency_data/SRCMP/SR%20CMP_MN
       D_Public%20Draft_7-1-09.pdf>.

"Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge." Fws.org. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dec.
       2002. Web. 1 June 2011.
       <http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/salinas/summary.pdf>.

"Salinas River NWR: Threatened and Endangered Species." U.S. Fish and Wildlife
       Service Home. Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 03
       June 2011. <http://www.fws.gov/sfbayrefuges/salinasriver/endangered.html>.

"Species Profile: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and
       Invertebrates." Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. National Biological Information
       Infrastructure. Web. 1 June 2011.
       <http://www.nbii.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=1426&&PageID=5095
       &mode=2&in_hi_userid=226&cached=true>.

"Steelhead, Central California Coast DPS." Wild Equity Institute. Wild Equity Institute,
       2009. Web. 03 June 2011. <http://wildequity.org/species/31>.

"The Salinas River." Monterey County. Web. 28 May 2011.
       <http://www.mtycounty.com/pgs-misc/salinas-river.html>.

Taylor, Dennis. "The Salinas River divided." Pajaro Watershed Information Center
       (2011): 1. Web. 30 May 2011.
       <http://www.pajarowatershed.org/news.php?display=1&oid=1000000481>.

"Watershed Fisheries Report and Early Actions: A Study of the Upper Salinas River and
      Tributaries." US-LT RCD. Upper Salinas - Las Tablas Resource Conservation
      District, Mar. 2002. Web. 2 June 2011.
      <http://www.us-ltrcd.org/downloads/Watershed_Fisheries_Report.pdf>.
II.7 Monterey Bay
1.0 Nitrates in Salinas River Watershed
The Salinas River is 155 miles long and is fed by the major tributaries of the Namcimento
and San Antonio Rivers in the southern end of the Salinas Valley. The river flows north-
northwest and drains into Monterey Bay. The Salinas River also serves are the main
source of water for the Salinas Valley Farms and vineyards. In Monterey County, the
Salinas River is fed by the Arroyo Seco River. The Salinas River is a shallow river, with
most of its flowing water, underground, which makes it the longest underground river in
America. The Salinas River does not run directly into Monterey Bay but it flows into
Monterey Bay with the help of two manmade channels that divert the water out to Moss
Landing Harbor and the bay.
There are many stakeholders in the Monterey Bay Area that are involved with the water
management plan. For our project we decided to look at the nitrates and pesticides that
are carried into Monterey’s waterways via the Salinas River. The Salinas River is one of
the most contaminated rivers in the world. Agricultural discharges have turned this river
into a green soup of nitrates, pesticides and toxic algae. The pollutants that are carried
downstream by the Salinas River are contaminating Monterey Bay and causing sea otters,
sea lions and sea birds to get very sick or, in some cases, killing them. Agriculture in the
Salinas Valley farms mostly consists of leafy greens. The agricultural discharges from
Salinas Valley farms have polluted the river to such an extent that this river has one of
the highest levels of nitrates of any river in the world. In the summer, the river is actually
a bright green with a thick mat of toxic algae. The fertilizer doesn’t just impair the
Salinas River, but when all the nitrates and algae flow downstream, it flushes out to
Monterey Bay which has its own problems hurting the ecosystem there. Nitrates have
also polluted 28% of the groundwater wells in the Monterey Area, which not only hurts
the environment but hurts the farm workers living in small rural communities. Sea otters
have been washing up dead on the beach with acute liver failure from eating shellfish
poisoned by the toxic algae. The otters decline is showing the deterioration of the marine
ecosystem in Monterey Bay. Another area of concern for the nitrates is that the Salinas
River is a major watershed that flows into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Our Vision Statement regarding nitrates will address our proposed actions to reduce the
amount of nitrates that flow downstream.

2.0 Pesticides in Salinas River Watershed
The Salinas Valley along the Central Coast of California is known as the nation’s salad
Bowl, and is the most productive vegetable producing region in the U.S. The Salinas
River Watershed covers just over 10,000 square kilometers. It includes aquatic habitats,
as the river runs through the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge estuarine and into
the Monterey Bay. The two most commonly used pesticides in the Salinas Valley are
chlorpyrifos and diazinon and they are used in the Salinas Valley on lettuce, artichokes,
greenhouse transplants, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, and outdoor flowers.
The agricultural use of diazinon and chlorpyrifos includes aerial spray or near-ground
spraying from a tractor. The ways that pesticides are transported away from fields is by
over spraying or by leaching through the soil and into the groundwater. In Monterey
County, granular pesticides are also applied with seeds at the time of planting. Irrigation
and rainwater runoff can wash residual pesticides off fields and into nearby watershed.
The river is a migration passageway for threatened salmonids, such as the steelhead, and
provides habitats for various species of wildlife including waterfowl, mammal, and
amphibian species. Pesticides are a necessary component to successful agricultural
production and are also the main source of toxicity in the Salinas River watershed, they
harm the wildlife within the watershed and lowers water quality.
Migratory waterfowl can ingest pesticides while preening; preening is the act of cleaning
their feathers. The amount of toxic chemicals ingested during preening is unknown,
however any amount could be harmful. Steelhead is a threatened salmonid that has the
potential to be found in the Salinas River. Steelhead start out as rainbow trout and
undergo the transformation into steelhead when a migrating to the ocean . For this reason
it is useful to compare chlorpyrifos and diazinon occurrence in the Salinas River to the
acceptable threshold values for rainbow trout. Regardless of increases, decreases, and
variability in pesticide concentrations, chlorpyrifos and diazinon are still present in the
Salinas River watershed in concentrations that are known to be toxic to aquatic
ecosystems due to a small amount of pesticides applied for agricultural purposes.
These pesticides can have a variety of biological impacts, including bioaccumulation,
reduced amounts of anadromous species, algal blooms, mortality due to toxicity, transfer
of pathogens to wildlife and humans, and interference with recreational use of the
watershed.     It is important to maintain monitoring programs prevent further
contamination in the watershed as well as monitoring significant impacts regarding the
level of harmful chemicals in the water. Our Vision Statement regarding pesticides will
address our proposed actions to reduce the amount of nitrates that flow downstream.



3.0 List of Stakeholders in the Monterey Bay Area
California American Water
California Coastal Commission
California Coastal Conservancy
California Department of Fish and Game
California State University Monterey Bay
California State Water Resources Control Board
Carmel River Steelhead Association
Carmel River Watershed Conservancy
Carmel Unified School District
Carmel Valley Association
City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
City of Del Rey Oaks
City of Pacific Grove
City of Sand City
City of Seaside
Monterey Bay Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Monterey County Service Area 50
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District
NOAA Fisheries
Pebble Beach Community Service District
Pebble Beach Company
Planning and Conservation League
Regional Water Quality Control Board
Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
Seaside Basin Watermaster
State Department of Parks & Recreation
Surfrider Foundation
The Nature Conservancy
The Watershed Institute at CSUMB
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve
Ventana Wilderness Society


4.0 Vision Statements for Nitrates and Pesticides in Monterey Bay
Vision Statement for Nitrates
As organic matter decomposes, nitrogen is slowly converted to ammonium, which is
absorbed by plant roots. Excess ammonium is turned into nitrate, which plants also use to
produce protein. However, unused nitrates remain in the groundwater, resulting in
leaching of the soil. There is no way around this. Each individual crop has its own unique
nitrogen requirement, and there is a vast range of required levels of nitrogen amongst the
different crops grown in the Salinas Valley. We as a group, found two possible courses of
action to help reduce the nitrate levels in the Salinas River and surrounding watershed.
The first option is to offer some type of government incentive to farmers who are willing
to stop growing field and vegetable crops that have excessively high nitrogen
requirements and switch to crops with much lower levels of required nitrogen. The
incentive could potentially be in the form of a subsidy paid to the farmer for growing a
specific crop, or reduced prices of water for those farmers who chose to participate in the
program. Our idea is centered around rating each crop on a scale of 1 to 10 based on
overall nitrogen requirements. Then farmers would be able to be rewarded on a numerical
system based on the change in nitrogen requirements from their original crop to the new
crop. This could potentially give farmers enough financial incentive to help maintain the
health of the Salinas River on their own volition, without force from any governmental
agency.
Our other possible course of action is more heavily weighted towards government policy,
and monetary penalties for not following the policies. In this option, we would like to see
the appropriate agencies establish more strict regulations regarding levels of nitrates
allowed to flow into, not only the Salinas River, but any body of water that drains into the
Monterey Bay. If this were put into action, farmers would need to monitor their runoff
much more closely. They could construct a channel at the low end of their field to catch a
higher percentage of their nitrate filled runoff. All farmers would be subject to testing and
inspection by the agency that implements this plan. If it is found that they are not abiding
by the regulations, they would face financial penalties that are much greater than the fines
in place currently.
Either of these options would significantly help the situation facing the Salinas River and
the Monterey Bay. Something needs to be done soon, because without action, the Salinas
Valley will continue down a path that leads to toxic levels of nitrates in the water, and
increased death tolls of many of the area’s native species. We as Californians need to do
whatever is necessary to ensure the longevity of one of our state’s most beautiful, and
important regions, the Salinas Valley.


Vision Statement for Pesticides
The Salinas River is polluted by pesticides that run into the river from the agricultural
lands within the Salinas River watershed. Our vision for Monterey Bay is an area where
the environment and associated ecosystems, human health, and socio-economic
development are protected through rational use of pesticides. We envision a society in
which organic food and other non-toxic produce are the standard. Collaboration between
public and private agencies will occur to determine environmental responsible solutions
for pest management. All stakeholders will be involved in the decision-making process
regarding pesticide use and its management. Polluters will be financially responsible for
the harm they cause on the environment. Mitigation projects and sensible planning will
prevent against pesticide intrusion into the Salinas River, enhancing habitat downstream
and into Monterey Bay. With this vision in mind, Monterey Bay will be a sustainable
and healthy ecosystem.
This vision can be accomplished through activities similar to nitrate reduction in the
river. Farmers that are heavily reliant on pesticides and cannot afford to implement more
eco-friendly pest management practices should be identified. Government financial
assistance will help transition over to these types of pest management practices.
Hopefully by assisting the farmer financially as they begin to implement new practices,
they will soon be able to practice environment friendly agriculture on their own. Strict
government regulations on the types of pesticides, quantity, and locations where they are
applied will help reduce the amount of pesticide in the area before it is able to reach the
Salinas River. Finally, public education workshops can aid farmers in using pesticides
rationally and inform them of the impacts that pesticides have on Monterey Bay.
                                    Works Cited
http://www.mpwmd.dst.ca.us/Mbay_IRWM/MontereyPeninsulaIRWMP20071119-
ExecSum.pdf
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/03/14/18674548.php
http://www.mtycounty.com/pgs-misc/salinas-river.html
Part III: Water Budget

III.1 Headwaters
III.2 Tributaries
III.3 Appropriators
III.4 Groundwater Extraction
III.5 Mandatory Dam Releases


III.6 Climate
1.0 Introduction
California is host to a vast array of climate conditions, and along the 170 miles of the
Salinas River, there are several microclimates which allow for a great deal of biodiversity
and          unique
ecosystems.
These        varied
ecosystems and
climates         all
influence       the
amount          and
quality of water
entering        the
Salinas       River
watershed. We’ve
selected several
areas       located
along the Salinas
River (Figure 1)
that      highlight
these       climate
differences: near
the headwaters in
Santa Margarita,
Paso        Robles,
Salinas, and near
the outflow to the
Pacific Ocean in
Monterey,
California.
                      Figure 1. Map of the Salinas River.
2.0 Climate of the Salinas River Headwaters:
The headwaters of the Salinas River begin near Santa Margarita Lake, approximately 20
km east of San Luis Obispo, within the Garcia Mountains. Existing roughly 2000 ft above
sea level, this area experiences a slightly different climate than the rest of the river. The
wind blows slightly harder, and rain falls more heavily, as this mountainous region is
more exposed to the weather than the rest of the Salinas. This area experiences a hot
semi-arid climate; with average highs of 82° F occur in August and September, the
average lows of 42° F occur in January and December (Figure 2). The record high for this
area was recorded at 112° F in September 1971, and the historic low was recorded at 12°
F in December 1987. Average precipitation for the area is 24 in/year (Figure 3). The wet
cool winters, dry hot summers, and mountainous terrain make for diverse vegetation.
This area includes Oak woodlands, riparian corridors, high ridge chaparral, scrub, and a
few open grassland areas.

                     100
                      90

                      80

                      70
  Temperatures (F)




                                                                                                    Average
                      60                                                                            High
                      50
                                                                                                    Average
                      40                                                                            Low
                      30

                      20

                      10
                       0
                           Jan   Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul            Aug Sep      Oct      Nov Dec
                                                  Month

                Figure 2. Mean average temperatures for Santa Margarita, CA.
                                        (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)
                                 7

                                 6
 Average Monthly Rainfall (in)


                                 5

                                 4

                                 3

                                 2

                                 1

                                 0
                                     Jan   Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul                  Aug Sep       Oct   Nov Dec
                                                            Month

                                 Figure 3. Mean Monthly Rainfall data for Santa Margarita, CA.
                                                (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)




3.0 The Climate of the Paso Robles
The Salinas River stretches 170 miles through California. Four miles of the river travel
through the city of Paso Robles (Paso Robles, 2010). The Salinas river spans a great
length, as it stretches across California it encounters many different types of climates.
Paso Robles is home to a chaparral environment. It is classified as a semi-arid, dry,
steppe climate or the more common “Mediterranean type” (sljdhf). Paso Robles is home
to long, hot and dry summers while the winter season is brief, cold and sometimes
experiences precipitation. The unique environment allows for crop growing such as
olives, grapes and almonds. The natural terrain of Paso Robles is composed of mainly
grassland and oak woodland. This temperate climate offers similar temperatures
throughout the year. The annual mean is 59.1 ° F. The annual maximum and minimum
temperature vary no more than 20° higher or lower than the average, with 76.7° and 41.5°
F, respectively. Though Paso Robles experiences a moderate climate, the city is
susceptible to extreme high and low temperatures, the high, 117° and a low of 7° F
(Figure 4). The city of Paso Robles covers 19.9 square miles. Because the city it is
nestled along the foot of the Santa Lucia Coastal mountain range it experiences an array
of elevations. The elevation in Paso Robles ranges from 675 to 1,100 feet with an average
elevation of 740 feet. (State Water Resources Control Board, ). The city almost never
encounters snowfall, not impossible, it has happened in the past. It is accustomed to low
humidity levels. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean creates occasional coastal fog, but it
never lasts a long time. The city experiences little to no rain in the summer and little
                    100
                     90
                     80
 Temperatures (F)


                     70
                     60
                     50                                                              Average
                     40                                                              High
                     30                                                              Average
                     20                                                              Low
                     10
                      0
                          Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                                               Month

                    Figure 4. Mean average temperatures for Paso Robles, CA.
                                   (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)




precipitation in the winter months. and has an annual average rainfall of 15.04 inches
(Figure 5).Paso Robles' watershed contributes a large drainage to the Salinas River. There
are four main tributaries in the city, which are Arroyo Seco, Nacimiento, San Antonio
and Estrella Rivers. The inflow from the tributaries into the rivers is seasonal depending
on the rainfall. The average monthly flows are usually above 400 cubic feet per second,
January through April, and lacks any measurable flow the remainder of the year.
 Average Monthly Rainfall (in)   7

                                 6

                                 5

                                 4

                                 3

                                 2

                                 1

                                 0
                                     Jan   Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul                Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                                                            Month
 Figure 5. Mean monthly rainfall data in Paso Robles from 1894 to
                              2010.
                                                 (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)




4.0 Climate of Salinas California
Salinas, CA has a typical climate of most coastal California cities. Salinas is located only
8 miles from the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Salinas Valley, which allows for a
mild, Mediterranean climate. Salinas lies at an elevation of about 52 feet above sea level,
which also helps to contribute to the cool environment (GNIS Detail, 1981). It covers a
total area of 22.8 square miles. The city of Salinas enjoys average annual temperatures of
a low of 46.6°F and a high of 68.5°F (Figure 6). The overall average warmest month of
the year is September, which has an average high of 75°F and low of 52°F. The average
annual precipitation of Salinas is 15.1 inches, with the highest monthly average occurring
in January with 2.99 inches of precipitation. Snowfall occurs within the city itself only
every 10 or 20 years (Figure 7).
                     100
                                     90
                                     80
Temperatures (F)


                                     70
                                     60
                                                                                                                   Average
                                     50                                                                            High

                                     40                                                                            Average
                                                                                                                   Low
                                     30
                                     20
                                     10
                                                   0
                                                       Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                                                                            Month


                                                   Figure 6. Mean average temperatures for Salinas, CA.
                                                               (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)




                                                   7

                                                   6
                   Average Monthly Rainfall (in)




                                                   5

                                                   4

                                                   3

                                                   2

                                                   1

                                                   0
                                                       Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                                                                            Month

Figure 7. Mean monthly rainfall data in Salinas , from 1878 to 2010.
                                                                 (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)
The Salinas River flows adjacent to the city of Salinas as underground flow, with no
tributaries in the area near the city itself. Salinas is surrounded by the Gabilan and Santa
Lucia mountain ranges to the east and west of the Salinas Valley. Although surrounded
by mountains, Salinas lies on flat land that is primarily used for agriculture. The
relatively flat terrain is comprised of floodplains and alluvial fans. Because of the great
demand from agriculture, the underground flow adjacent to the city is what helps to
irrigate crops in the dry parts of the year. The vegetation is primarily made up of
agricultural crops, such as lettuce, artichokes, broccoli and spinach. Salinas provides
80% of the countries use of these crops, giving it the nickname “The Salad Bowl of the
World” (History, 2009).

5.0 Climate of Monterey Bay area
Monterey, just south from where the Salinas River flows into the Monterey Bay and then
the Pacific Ocean, is located along the coast of California. The close proximity to the
ocean, and low elevation allow for little variation in the annual temperatures in Monterey.
Located at 36º 35’W 121º 53’N, (Google Earth) Monterey has an average annual high
temperature of 65º F and an average annual low of 48º F (Figure 8).

                    100
                     90
                     80
 Temperatures (F)




                     70                                                           Average
                     60                                                           High
                     50
                                                                                  Average
                     40                                                           Low
                     30
                     20
                     10
                      0
                          Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                                               Month

                    Figure 8. Mean average temperatures for Monterey, CA.
                                (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)




The mean rainfall for a given year is approximately 20 inches, and with most of the rain
falling in the winter months (Figure 9) (Western Regional Climate Center, 2010). This
moisture regime often leads to comparisons of a Mediterranean climate. The mild
temperatures of Monterey make precipitation other than rain very uncommon, although it
does happen at higher elevations in the mountains surrounding Monterey.
                                    5
  Average Monthly Rainfall (in)   4.5
                                    4
                                  3.5
                                    3
                                  2.5
                                    2
                                  1.5
                                    1
                                  0.5
                                    0
                                        Jan   Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul                   Aug Sep    Oct Nov Dec
                                                               Month

 Figure 9. Mean monthly rainfall in Monterey, from 1906 to 2010.
                                                 (Compiled from Western Regional Climate Center)


The slightly warmer summers also allow for a great deal of fog accumulation in the
Monterey Bay area, creating an ideal habitat for the closed-cone pine populations,
particularly the Monterey Pine. The terrain of the area is mostly sand dunes, allowing
plant varieties able to tolerate the coastal sandy soils including: Seaside Birds Beak
(Cordylanthus rigidus littoralis), Yadon's piperia (Piperia yadonii), and Hickman’s
potentilla (Potentilla hickmanii) (Cal Flora Database, 2011). The Monterey Bay area, is
the end of the line for the Salinas River, but the coastal ecosystems also rely on the
waters from the river.

6.0 Conclusions
California is host to an array of climates, but as a whole is known for its “Mediterranean”
climate with warmer, drier summers and wetter winter months. This trend is true for all
locations along the Salinas River, as shown in Figures 3, 5, 7, and 9. While the mean
annual temperatures, as well as actual volume of rainfall, varied for the different areas
along the river, the variations can be attributed to the variety of elevations, proximities to
the coast, and terrains. The most southern and inland areas, such as Paso Robles, show
the greatest range of temperatures, while the more coastal zones, tend to be more
consistent. While all this variability does fall under one climate type, it is key to consider
the microclimates as well when making plans for the Salinas River Watershed.
                                     Works Cited
Calflora Database[web application]. 2011. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a
       non-profit organization]. Available: http://www.calflora.org/ (Accessed: Jun 02,
       2011).
City of Paso Robles.2010. Paso Robles Ground Water Management Plan. [website]
      http://www.prcity.com/Government/departments/publicworks/water/pdf/GBMP/p
      resentations/BradleySubarea2.25.10.pdf. (Accessed: May 30, 2011)

City of Salinas, California Welcome to the City of Salinas, California. [Website]
       http://www.ci.salinas.ca.us/visitors/history.cfm. (Accessed: 31 May 2011. )

State Water Resource Control Board. 2005. Paso Robles National Pollutant Discharge
       Elimination System Phase II Storm Water Management Plan." [Website.]
       http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/stormwater/swmp/paso_robles_s
       wmp.pdf (Accessed: May 30, 2011)
U.S. Geologic Survey Board on Geographic Names (BGN) GNIS Detail - Salinas.
       [Website]http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:43093710404897
       6::NO::P3_FID:277589. (Accessed: 31 May 2011. )

Volunteer Precipitation Gauge Station Monthly Precipitation Report." San Luis Obispo
      County Public Works. [web application] http://www.slocountywater.org/
      (Accessed: May 20, 2011).

Western Regional Climate Center. 2010. [web application] http://www.wrcc.dri.edu
      (Accessed: May 30, 2011)
Part IV: Existing Management Plans in the Salinas Watershed

1.0 Introduction
In California, the Salinas River stretches 170 miles long and is sustained by a nearly
4,600 square mile watershed (CCRWQCB). It is also the largest watershed flowing into
the Monterey Bay. Within the watershed, pollutants, agricultural activities, urban
development, vehicle usage, damaged habitat, and erosion are some of the problems that
have made the Salinas River watershed a high priority for the State Water Resources
Control Board (SWRCB) and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
(Regional Board). However, increased attention has brought with it management plans,
developed in an attempt to improve and undo the negative effects of human activity on
the watershed.

2.0 Salinas River Watershed Management Action Plan
The “Salinas River Watershed Management Action Plan” (Action Plan), developed by
the Regional Board and published on October 22, 1999, was one of the first attempts to
unify resources in order to address issues affecting the watershed. The Action Plan
attempts to facilitate management of the watershed through increased staffing, improved
communication, and grant funding to stimulate cooperative solutions. One of the key
features of the Action Plan is that it included a preliminary evaluation in 1997, as well as
laid plans for a future assessment of the watershed. The Action Plan also declared the
Regional Board’s responsibilities for and authority over the watershed.
The Action Plan includes a description of the Salinas River and its tributaries, as well as
common land uses, development, groundwater basins, and dams existing in the
watershed. It also characterized the impacts of these features on water quality. Identified
impacts on the watershed include seawater intrusion, nitrate, pesticides and mercury
contamination in surface and groundwater sources, erosion, and sedimentation often
resulting from agriculture. Other potential pollutant sources located in the watershed
include urban runoff, mines, oil fields, roads and highways, and point source pollution.
The examination of nonpoint sources of pollution are emphasized in this plan, a key
diversion from the Regional Board’s traditional exercise of authority only over point
source pollution. The Salinas River and several of its tributaries have been listed by the
Regional Board on the Clean Water Act’s 303(d) list of impaired water bodies.
In the Action Plan, the Regional Board noted several sources of authority, which would
allow them to address the watershed. These sources are found in both Federal and State
laws and regulations, including: the Federal Clean Water Act, the state Porter-Cologne
Water Quality Control Act, and the Coast Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments. From
these sources, the Regional Board noted their responsibility to protect the quality of the
waters of the State of California, including: all surface, groundwater, and saline waters
within the boundaries of the state. In addition, the Regional Board noted the need to
develop and implement Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), as well as place greater
attention on nonpoint source pollution in order to fulfill the requirements of their
authority.
The Action Plan also emphasizes cooperative action as a means of making marked
progress in the watershed. Here the Regional Board notes that by unifying local interests
and providing funding and other resources to enhance on-going efforts, more can be
accomplished than with any one party. Due to the scale and complexity of issues facing
the watershed, the Regional Board recognized the fact that partnerships between agencies
are required to achieve effective solutions basin wide, with education and communication
facilitating them. Finally, the Action Plan laid out a list of priorities for achieving its
goals with the major theme being to act as a line of communication, connecting
independent efforts so that greater progress can be made, as well as supporting
cooperative projects.
The Action Plan, as it stands, has not evolved much since it was published in 1999. Its
goals of cooperation and communication still apply today. However, with few realistic
achievable goals, the plan’s amorphous form has little momentum of its own. Ultimately,
a clearer framework is required if any real progress is to be made towards restoring the
watershed, as opposed to only reducing the rate of its degradation. However, the Action
Plan was effective in stimulating a response and continued progress as is seen in the
management plans that have resulted from its initial commentary.

3.0 Upper Salinas River Watershed Action Plan
The Upper Salinas River Watershed Action Plan (WAP) was completed on June 30,
2004, nearly five years after the Salinas River Watershed Management Action Plan was
published. It was developed by the Monterey County Water Resources Agency
(MCWRA) and was the first comprehensive plan to address the watershed. The WAP
contains five primary objectives including: improving water quality and ensuring
adequate supply, supporting agricultural well being, reducing soil loss, enhancing habitat
conditions, and improving land use policies. It differs from the Action plan in that the
WAP was compiled as a reference for all stakeholders in the upper watershed, and lays
out actions that all interests can take to aid in meeting the MCWRA’s goals.
Building on the Action Plan, the WAP includes a more thorough analysis of the
watershed. It presents information about the quality and quantity of water, historical
activity and its evolution, and detailed characterization of current issues in the watershed.
The WAP contains extensive background on the watershed and the human activities that
have hindered it. However, it is the chapters on outreach, public input, issues, goals, and
strategies that have enabled the plan to stimulate positive action in the watershed.
Following the recommendation of the Action Plan, the WAP included significant public
outreach prior to its publication. Frequent meetings were held over three years to attain
public input and resulted in an extensive list of issues that should be addressed by WAP
efforts. Ultimately, these meetings resulted in the formation of a Task Force including:
government representatives, landowners, farmers, and special interests groups, which
produced a comprehensive list of issues needing attention. A Technical Advisory
Committee was also formed to organize Task Force Meetings and begin working on
solutions to the issues that were presented.
Ultimately, the collective efforts of the Task Force, Technical Advisory Committee, and
the MCWRA resulted in an attachment titled “Issues, Goals, and Strategies for the Upper
Salinas River Watershed”. This attachment consists of an eighteen-page chart laid out
with issue statements, the applicable goals and strategies, who the responsible party is,
and when they will be addressed. The attachment is significant in that it has taken the
upper watershed and determined the fifteen key issues challenging it. In addition, it
describes the methods, parties, and timeline for addressing those issues in order to guide
progress and measure it and has served as a sound description of the restoration work that
must be undergone in the upper watershed.

4.0 Salinas Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Functionality Equivalent
Plan
The Salinas Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Functionality Equivalent
Plan is really two plans combined, an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan
(IRWM Plan) and a Functionality Equivalent Plan (FEP). An IRWM Plan is encouraged
by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the SWRCB, and is
required when applying for grant funding. However, the DWR and SWRCB recognize
that many communities already have plans similar to the IRWM Plan in place and
therefore only require an FEP, which summarizes how the IRWM Plan is already met.
In 2006, the FEP was updated based on input from the DWR and SWRCB. In order to
prove that adequate plans are in place to meet the requirements of the IWRM Plan, the
FEP must discuss several categories. The FEP must describe several aspects of the
region, including the agencies managing the water supply and the providers of water to
the communities. It must also describe the current and future water resources available,
the quality and quantity of water in these sources, and how the water is currently used
and is planned to be used in the future within the region. Planning objectives must also be
discussed, which include water quality, water supply, flood protection, and environmental
enhancement. Water resource management goals are also included in the FEP, which
further described goals within the planning objectives. An IRWM Plan requires certain
goals, but many other goals were also considered.
An FEP must also include both short- and long-term regional priorities. The short-term
priorities include projects that stop seawater intrusion and help to balance the water use
within the basin, projects that help meet existing water demand, projects that re-establish
steelhead in the Arroy Seco River (a tributary of the Salinas River), and projects that
protect and improve groundwater quality. The long-term priorities include meeting future
water demands, establishing steelhead upstream of the Arroyo Seco River, continuing
efforts to improve groundwater quality, and implementing watershed management,
Projects are selected based on their ability to address these regional priorities. The
projects selected are the Salinas Valley Water Project, Water Quality and Fish Habitat
Monitoring Program, MCWD Well 33 Pump Station and Reservoir Project, and Soledad
Water recycling/Reclamation Project. These projects are then prioritized based on the
earliest implementation timeline and the project impacts and benefits. Furthermore, the
projects must undergo a technical analysis, a plan performance review, discuss parties
responsible for data management, and secure sources of financing. Finally, the projects
are analyzed for how well they meet statewide priorities and local planning and the
presence of adequate stakeholder involvement.
5.0 Salinas River Parkway Conservation Plan
The most recent management plan to be introduced on behalf of the Salinas River
Watershed is the Salinas River Parkway Plan’s Integrated Watershed Management
Program (IWMP) Implementation Plan. Revised in February 2011, the IWMP is the City
of Paso Robles’ response to findings in the Salinas River Watershed Management Action
Plan and the Upper Salinas River Watershed Action Plan. The basis of the plan is the
River Parkway Grant, which enabled the acquisition of 153.9 acres of land, including 1.5
miles of river channel frontage. The purpose of the grant “is to protect, restore and
enhance the water quality, riparian habitat, flood control, and groundwater recharge
values of property along the Upper Salinas River”.
The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County aidedthe city in the Salinas River
Parkway Preserve project by preparing the “SRPP Land Management Plan”
(Management Plan) for the long-term stewardship of the land. Together these plans aim
to increase the area of native riparian vegetation, reduce sediment infiltration, and reduce
urban pollutants contaminating the river and surrounding lands. The plans also aim to
increase public awareness and education about the Salinas River and watershed. The
annual Festival of the Arts, first held in 2009, has succeeded in increasing awareness of
the restoration project as well as to raise matching funds for the grant.
An important element of the IWMP is that it has encouraged the partnering of interests on
the SRPP bringing together the Upper Salinas – Las Tablas Resource Conservation
District (US‐LTRCD), the California Conservation Corps, as well as community
volunteers and non-profits with the City of Paso Robles. It has laid out purchase
agreements and restoration plans for the 1.5-mile reach and has made continued progress
since the plan’s initiation. By May 19, 2010 the City succeeded in purchasing the 153.9
acres of land that now form the parkway corridor and on June 10, 2010 the Management
Plan was adopted by the City. Although the acquisition of land was at times challenging
and belabored, the restoration phase of the project has been progressing rapidly through
cooperative efforts.
The SRPP has been very successful since its introduction. To date numerous goals have
been met by efforts of the plan including: mapping and evaluation of site conditions,
completion of CEQA documentation, increased public education and involvement,
increased riparian vegetation, reduction of uncontrolled vehicle access, increased channel
bank stabilization and vegetation, sediment inflow reduction, and pollutant reduction
(City). Public outreach events have also commenced including: an annual creek clean-up
day, volunteer recruitment and training, the engagement of Liberty High School in hands
on learning, and a 3-day course on water quality.
This project has not been without its struggles, fortunately, lessons have been laid out as
part of the final IWMP report that may serve as a guide to future endeavors. Major
recommendations found in these lessons include cooperation and the designation of clear
goals and their timeline for completion. Much as the Action Plan and WAP have
previously suggested, communication and partnership are keys to managing such a
complex and sensitive project. However, the IWMP has been far more successful than the
former in laying out tangible goals and methods for solving them. For this reason, the
Salinas River Parkway Plan is an excellent stepping-stone for future restoration projects
along the length of the Salinas River Watershed. As noted at the end of the final report,
public outreach and support was key to the success of the project and has stimulated
community pride and interest in local water resources and work is ongoing.

6.0 Conclusion
Multiple management plans have been written in response to the Trust for Public Lands
description of the Salinas River Watershed as “the most degraded by human activities”.
Since the Action Plan was published in 1999 a steady evolution can be seen in both the
approach and results achieved by successive management plans. The Salinas River
Parkway Plan has taken great strides along the 1.5-mile stretch the City of Paso Robles is
working to restore. With prior plans as a guide, continued efforts should be made to
expand the restoration work in the watershed through cooperative efforts and clear goals.
                                  Works Cited
Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. “Salinas River Watershed
       Management Action Plan.” San Luis Obispo: October 1999.

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District. “Upper Salinas River
      Watershed Action Plan.” Templeton: June 2004.

City of Paso Robles. “2005-2006 Consolidated Grants – Proposition 40: Integrated
       Watershed Management Program (IWMP) Implementation.” Salinas River
       Parkway Grant Final Report. Paso Robles: December 2010.

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. “The Salinas River Parkway
      Management Plan for Triple P LLC Property Acquisition.” Paso Robles: June
      2010.

The Monterey County Water Resources Agency. “Salinas Valley Integrated Regional
     Water Management Functionally Equivalent Plan Update.” Monterey County:
     May 2006.
Part V: Key Issues

V.1 Assessment of Headwaters
1.0 Desired Future Condition:
To protect both the health of the ecosystem and human population in the area by
enhancing the water quality, riparian habitat, and groundwater recharge capability near
the headwaters. We want to ensure that recreation on and near the river, continues in a
sustainable way and that the wildlife will thrive in the area.

2.0 Background and Setting:
The Salinas River is the largest river in central California. It spans from the Los Padres
National Forest in Southern California, all the way to Monterey Bay. The river is 170
miles long and drains a basin larger than 4,000 square miles. The Salinas River’s
reservoirs and tributaries are the main providers of water to farmers in the central valley.
In order to enhance and continue use of this resource we must understand and protect its
Headwaters.
The head waters of the Salinas River begin in the Garcia Mountain region south of Pozo
from the south central part of San Luis Obispo County. The river is fed by several
tributaries in this area, consisting of: Nacimiento River, San Antonio River, Huer Huero
Creek, and Cholame and San Juan Creek that join together to make the Estrella River.
The beginning of the watershed is constrained between the Santa Lucia Range. The
Salinas is an unusual river in that is runs north and parallels the San Andres Fault and is
sometimes called the Upside Down River. The climatic conditions in the region consist
of hot dry summers and cool wet winters with an average annual rainfall measured
between 15-50 inches.
Huer Huero Creek Watershed

The Huer Huero Creek Watershed is located in northern San Luis Obispo County and
covers an area of about103,000 acres (160 square miles). The Huer Huero creek runs for
approximately 27 miles, originating in the La Panza Range in the Los Padres National
Forest and into enters into its confluence with the Salinas River. The land within the
watershed is comprised primarily of private agricultural lands. The city of Creston is the
only major establishment within the Huer Huero creek watershed.
Estrella Creek Watershed

The Estrella River Watershed is located in the eastern San Luis Obispo County and
Southeastern Monterey County in near Paso Robles, CA and covers an area of about
640,000 acres (1,000 square miles). The Estrella River forms at the confluence of
Cholame Creek and San Juan Creek tributaries and flows for about 28.5 miles into the
Salinas River. It originates near the city of Shandon, CA and flows through privately
owned agricultural land, mainly vineyards.
Nacimiento River Watershed
The Nacimiento River Watershed is located in Monterey County and covers an area of
236,880 acres (370 square miles). The Nacimiento River flows a total of 64 miles
through land used primarily by the military (Camp Roberts) and into the Lake
Nacimiento before it reaches the Salinas River. Flows from the lake to the Salinas River
are regulated by the Nacimiento Dam.
San Antonio River Watershed

The San Antonio River Watershed is located in Southern Monterey County and covers an
area of 220,003 acres (343.8 square miles). It Nacimiento River flows for about 58 miles
through the Santa Lucia Mountain Range in the Los Padres National Forest to its
confluence with the Salinas River. Lake San Antonio is the major water body that exists
between the headwaters and the confluence and water flow to the Salinas is managed by
the San Antonio Dam.
Over the past century the upper Salinas Watershed has been significantly degraded. There
has been massive habitat loss, removal of riparian vegetation and water quality problems.
The water quality has been negatively affected from OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) use,
vandalism, trash, illegal dumping, agricultural run-off, and other human uses. This Water
Quality degradation has led to decreased riparian vegetation, which has affected wildlife
habitat. The river has also been heavily dammed and this has led to a reduction in stream
flow which has negatively affected wildlife and fish. The State Water Control Board has
designated the Salinas River as one of the most critical watersheds in the State of
California.
3.0 Biological resources:
The Upper Salinas watershed has several different habitats that are crucial to wildlife in
and around the river. However this habitat is very vulnerable to human activity. The
numerous dams and water diversion sites for agriculture and urban use greatly take away
from the flow of the river and its tributaries and jeopardize the habitat along the river.
This water diversion has greatly affected the vegetation along the river and has led to
habitat loss.
The main species of concern in the Upper Salinas watershed are the ones that are
currently listed on the California Endangered Species act as Endangered or Threatened.
There are however other species of concern, mainly fish, that live in the river and
tributaries in the Upper Salinas Watershed. Of these species of concern we have broken
them into 3 main categories: Invertebrates, Native Fish, and Non-Native Fish. The
invertebrates of concern are the Longhorn Fairy Shrimp which is federally listed as
endangered and the Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp which is federally listed as threatened.
Vernal pools are some of the most threatened and degraded habitat in the world and the
Salinas Rivers vernal pools are being drained for agricultural use. The Native fish that
live in the Upper Salinas Watershed and are of concern are the Sacramento Sucker, the
Threespine Stickleback, Hitch, and the Southern Steelhead which is federally listed as
threatened. These native fish not only struggle form diminishing habitat but they also
have to compete with the many introduced species of fish that have been brought to the
Salinas river in order to fish. The last category is the Non-Native fish that have been
brought to the Salinas River to please recreational fishers. There is a large list of these
species but the main ones of interest are: Sacramento Pikeminow, White Bass, Channel
Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Redear sunfish, and Black Crappie.
These three categories encompass the majority of the biota of the Upper Salinas
Watershed. This area is in peril because of habitat loss and water diversion and should be
studied in order to create a possible protection plan.

4.0 Issues and Concerns:
High nitrate levels are commonly found in the surface waters of the Salinas River. Other
issues include siltation, water diversions, migration barriers for salmonids, and high water
temperatures. The Salinas Valley experiences large quantities of agricultural production
and has thus created multiple problems for the area's natural resources. Rainfall and
irrigation produce harmful runoff that carries soils and pesticides into small streams
which eventually lead to the main body of the Salinas River and ultimately into the
Pacific Ocean. Another issue is the clearing of vegetation from stream banks. This
practice has degraded habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic species. There is also a
problem with bank erosion, which has begun to fill the streams of the headwaters. The
degradation of habitat and water quality of the Salinas River has contributed to a decrease
in steelhead numbers, and species diversity in general. The river has one dam which was
constructed in 1941. It forms Santa Margarita Lake, which is located at 154 miles down
the river. An agreement to always keep a “live stream” flowing from the dam has been
reached and water is released and regulated from the dam year round.

V.2 Current Water Quality
V.3 Lake Nacimiento


V.4 Santa Margarita Lake
1.0 History
The Salinas Dam was built in 1941 by the War Department to supply water primarily to
Camp San Luis Obispo and, secondarily, to help meet the water requirements of the City
of San Luis Obispo. Currently the City of San Luis Obispo has rights to divert up to
45,000 acre feet per year. The Salinas Reservoir (Santa Margarita Lake) captures water
from a 112 square mile watershed and can store up to 23,813 acre-feet of water. In 1947,
upkeep of the Salinas Dam and delivery system came under the jurisdiction of the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers. Since 1965, the San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and
Water Conservation District has operated this water supply for the City under a lease
from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Water from the reservoir is pumped through the
one-mile long Cuesta Tunnel and then gravity flows to the City of San Luis Obispo
Water Treatment Plant located on Stenner Creek Road.
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/03/08/1059445/slo-county-lakes-filling-up.html

2.0 Water quality from the lake
Water from Santa Margarita Lake is generally of high quality and within the Maximum
Contaminant Level (MCL) standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
However, occasional perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination and occasional spikes in the
nitrates occur. San Luis Obispo municipal water, which utilizes Santa Margarita Lake as
one of it primary sources of water, has a hardness which varies between 200mg/l to 370
mg/l which is moderately hard by industry standards. Salinas Reservoir is considered
most vulnerable to contamination from cattle grazing and historic mining activities
although no associated contaminants have been detected.

3.0 Species and health
Habitats in the near-vicinity of the Santa Margarita Lake include annual grassland, oak
woodland and chaparral. Non-native grasses and other herbaceous annuals that are
common in this habitat include wild oat, soft chess, foxtail chess, black mustard, sky
lupine, and Italian ryegrass. Wildlife species include California ground squirrel,
mourning dove, lark sparrow, and savannah sparrow. Oak woodland, dominated by open
stands of mature blue oaks and foothill pines is the predominant plant community in the
vicinity of the lake. Understory vegetation includes poison oak, toyon, and California
buckeye. Common species include include western scrub-), western bluebird, and
western fence lizard. Deer, bears, mountain lions, eagles, and osprey are found
throughout the area.
                                                      http://www.boat-ed.com/nh/course/p4-18_nh_info.htm

In the waters of the lake, fish species including bass, stocked trout, catfish, crappie and
bluegill are found. Non-native invasive species which are of grave concern to the overall
health and water management of the lake include the zebra mussel and the quagga
mussel. These mussels are known to colonize water supply pipes of hydroelectric and
nuclear power plants, public water supply plants, and industrial facilities thus restricting
the water flow. Furthermore, recreational boating can be affected by mussels can getting
into engine cooling systems causing overheating and damage. These mussels can also
have profound negative effects on the ecosystems they invade.
The upper Salinas River and its tributaries used to be populated with steelhead trout and
Chinook salmon; however, due to the Salinas dam being a complete fish barrier, salmon
are no longer found in this area and the steelhead population is severely reduced.

4.0 Flow Released into the Salinas River
The San Luis Obispo County Master Water Plan Update for Water Planning Area #9a-
The Salinas River states the following about Santa Margarita Lake, The Salinas Dam, and
flows into the Salinas River:
       “Licensee’s dam shall be maintained so that the water level in the
       reservoir can be reduced two feet eight inches below full reservoir level by
       means of spillway flashboards. On November 1 of each year licensee shall
       remove spillway flashboards and release into Salinas River any water in
       storage above the spillway level; and each storage season no water shall be
       stored above the spillway level until a visible surface flow exists in Salinas
       River between the licensee’s reservoir and the confluence of Nacimiento
       River. No water shall be diverted directly to use or to storage under this
       license at any time water is being released from Salinas Reservoir (Santa
       Margarita Lake) in compliance with condition 2A of Board Order dated
       June 1, 1972, or as amended, issued pursuant to applications 10211 and
       10216. (App 24365,lic 11158)”

5.0 Recreation
The Santa Margarita Lake is also used for recreation activities such as fishing and
boating. The recreation activities are operated by the County of San Luis Obispo as a
County Park and the lake allows the public to use the lake for boating, fishing,
picnicking, and camping. People cannot enter the lake to swim in or water-ski because it
is a domestic water supply reservoir. The lake hosts recreational events throughout the
year including bass tournaments and recently, an adventure race: “Central Coast
Adventure Challenge.”
Figure__:       Santa        Margarita     Lake      Regional   Park   Trails.   Taken   from
http://www.slopost.org/pdfs/map_SantaMargarita.pdf




5.0.A Issues
     Pollution from boaters
     Quagga and Zebra Mussels


5.0.B Concerns
     Recreation on Santa Margarita Lake helps support Santa Margarita. This includes
       small businesses such as “Here Fishy Fishy” a small, local, tackle shop that
       depends on the fishing at Santa Margarita Lake for customers.
     Maintaining levels of Santa Margarita Lake to support recreation
     Releasing enough water from Santa Margarita Lake to allow Salinas River to
       flow.
                                       Works Cited
“City    of San Luis Obispo Utilities.” City of              San   Luis   Obispo.   2005.
         <http://www.slocity.org/utilities/reslevels.asp>.

“Visit Santa Margarita.com” <http://visitsantamargarita.com/santa_margarita_lake.html>.

“Santa      Margarita    Lake.”   San    Luis      Obispo    County      Parks.     2002.
         <http://www.slocountyparks.com/activities/santa_margarita.htm>.

“San Luis Obispo County Master Water Plan.” San Luis Obispo County. 29 March 2007.
      <http://www.slocountywater.org/site/Frequent%20Downloads/Master%20Water
      %20Plan/pdf/TM3%203.29.10%20Supply,%20Community%20Demand,%20Qua
      lity.pdf>.
V.5 Public Easements on the Salinas
V.6 Cultural Resources
1.0 Introduction
The Salinas River has a long and complicated history as both a natural and cultural
resource. In recent years, the Salinas River has encountered numerous social, political,
economic and ecological difficulties which have affected the ability of various agencies
and responsible groups to properly maintain this important resource for current and future
generations. In order to protect, restore and enhance and manage the Salinas River in the
best interest of the public it is critical to address these various issues and goals. These
goals are to enrich the aesthetic value of the Salinas River by increasing opportunities for
recreation and education, to restore historic wetlands, where feasible, and to improve
water quality by reducing erosion and sedimentation.
An enhancement of the river’s aesthetic value to increase opportunities for recreation,
education and outreach would help to return the river and adjacent areas to their original
condition as much as possible through restoration. A possible tactic to this goal is to
develop hiking trails or upgrade existing trails. The installation of interpretive signs along
trails to prevent damage to cultural sites as well as to educate the public on the
importance of the surrounding areas would also be an integral part of this enhancement.
An additional goal is to restore historical wetlands where possible. The restoration of
these once-wetland areas would help to create a buffer zone between the river and
adjacent land uses and may serve as a means of flood protection, filtration, and the
increased health of riparian ecosystems. Another important goal is to improve water
quality by reducing erosion and sedimentation by limiting sand extraction in the river as a
whole, or at least in important or sensitive areas.

2.0 The Cultural History of the Salinas River
Prior to European settlement, the Salinian and Esseleen tribes were the two dominant
tribes which lived in close proximity to the Salinas River and its tributaries. The Salinian
Tribe lived in and around the Salinas Valley from Carmel Valley down to Morro Bay.
The Salinian language is one of the oldest languages in California, but unfortunately this
language has since been lost. These indigenous peoples relied upon the Salinas River as a
source of fish and game and additionally relied on native plants for food and medicines.
This tribe was later displaced by the arrival of European settlers and there is little current
information regarding their history or current existence as cohesive indigenous nation (4).
Although not on friendly terms with the Salinians, the Esseleen Tribe lived nearby in the
upper Carmel Valley, both within the Ventana Wilderness and portions of the Los Padres
National Forest. They occupied approximately six-hundred and twenty-five square miles
along the Arroyo-Seco River, the only undammed tributary to the Salinas, and the Big
Sur Coastline. Based on baptism records from Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo,
the approximate size of the tribe is believed to be one-thousand people. They relied
heavily upon the Pacific Ocean for harvesting fish, abalone, mussels and seals. They were
also avid traders and bartered acorns, fish, salt, baskets, hides, pelts, shells and beads.
Rock art has also been left behind in many of the areas these peoples once inhabited.
Around 1770, Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was established in Carmel and
absorbed much of the Esseleen population. Esseleen peoples were taken and trained to
work as cattle herders, carpenters, shepherds or blacksmiths. Many died from European
diseases like small pox, measles or syphilis or from overwork or malnourishment.
Despite their unfortunate past, the Esseleen tribe is still in existence today and, as of
2010, is petitioning the Federal Government for official recognition as a tribe.

3.0 Current and Historical Land Uses
In addition to a long cultural history, the Salinas River has long been connected with
agriculture. Irrigated agriculture along the Salinas River began as early as the 1790s with
the establishment of Spanish Missions (6). Lots and grants were administered Spanish
civilians or retired soldiers in the thousands of acres. Today, agriculture is one of the
primary land uses along the Salinas River and discharge from current livestock or
growing operations along or near the river has been and continues to be a source of
concern in regards to water quality. Mineral extraction, in the form of both Oil and Gas
operations and sand mining, has also been important land uses near the Salinas River.
The Salinas Rivers runs through the San Ardo Oil Field in the upper Salinas Valley, north
of Paso Robles. This field is primarily operated by Chevron and Aera Energy LLC. Sand
mining has also had a significant impact on the Salinas River as it contributes to erosion,
threatens the aesthetic and recreation values of the river, threatens habitat and wildlife
and has the potential to alter the overall structure of the Salinas River. Eight million cubic
yard of sand and sediment are removed annually from the California coastline annually.
The Salinas River is also used as a source of recreation through the limited public use of
hiking and some hunting activities. The river also provides habitat for a wide variety of
species, including several listed species such as the Snowy Plover, Smith’s Blue
Butterfly, the Monterey Spineflower and the Brown Pelican within the Salinas River
National Wildlife Refuge (Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, 2002).

4.0 Areas of Archeological Interest and Potential Mitigation Measures
As part of a general desire to preserve and restore the integrity of the Salinas River as a
whole, identifying historical treasured cultural sites is an integral factor in preventing any
disturbances from private development or other activities. There are numerous
organizations, agencies and private citizens who have a vested interest in these areas
adjacent to the Salinas River. As a result, coordination between these various
stakeholders is of the utmost importance to enhancing the beauty and historical integrity
of the river. In theory, collaboration between these various groups will help in restoring
the river to its original condition, in addition to ensuring the success of municipal and
county leader in incorporating the needs of the public, as well as indigenous peoples, in
their long term plans.
There are currently fifty-one archeological sites on the Central California Coast between
San Mateo and San Luis Obispo Counties, in addition to several archeological significant
sites within the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge. A World War II era bomb shelter
located within the Wildlife Refuge may be eligible for listing on the National Register of
Historic Places. Furthermore, shell middens along the river may also be of archeological
interest. The maintenance and preservation of fish habitat may also be important to
maintaining the integrity of indigenous peoples’ spiritual connection to the river.
Despite the fact that over fifty cultural surveys have been completed along the Salinas
River, a comprehensive understanding of the spiritual significance of specific sites and
the river as whole would require an investigation and surveying. Without a specific
knowledge of the area, creating a plan to meet the needs of both the public and the
indigenous peoples would be ineffective. The specific location of various burial sites
along tributaries such as Pancho Rico and Sargent Creeks in South County, and Chualar
and Gabilan Creeks in the northern portion of the valley would be essential before any
preservation or enhancement measures could be implemented (5). Upon completion of a
comprehensive survey of these sensitive areas, the installation of trails within a buffered
region away from the sacred areas; the construction of interpretive signs would greatly
improve public understanding and respect for these sacred sites.
In order to achieve these objectives of increasing opportunities for recreation and
education, to restore historic wetlands, and to improve overall water quality, it is
pertinent to gain the cooperation of all stakeholders. Understanding the needs of the
indigenous people is vital when developing mitigation strategies to enhance the Salinas
River. These people, such as the Salinian and Esseleen, have inhabited this land for
centuries, so planners cannot overlook their vested needs and interests in the river. Their
cultural significance brings a sense of history and knowledge of the ecological functions
of the Salinas River. This understanding is essential for the success of the river for future
generations.
                                    Reference List

1. "Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Salinas
Valley Water Project."    MCWRA       Home    Page.    Web.     02    June    2011.
       <http://www.mcwra.co.monterey.ca.us/SVWP/DEIR_EIS_2001/1.htm>.

2. Gobalet, Kenneth, and Terry Jones. "Prehistoric Native American Fisheries of the
Central California     Coast." Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 124.6
(1995): 813-23. Print.

3.   "Salinas River Channel." The Otter Project. Web. 31 May                   2011.
       <http://www.otterproject.org/site/pp.asp?c=8pIKIYMIG&b=5003031>.

4. "Tribe Petitions for Federal Recognition." Online posting. KSBW Action News 8. 29
Apr. 2003. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.ksbw.com/news/2167765/detail.html>.

5. United States. Monterey County. County of Monterey Planning and Building Inspectio
          Department.         2007.         Web.        31        May          2011.
          <http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/planning/gpu/2007_GPU_DEIR_Sept_2008/Te
          xt/Sec_04.10_Cultural_Resources.pdf>.

6. United States. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. California/Nevada Refuge Planning
         Office.      Salinas River
         National Wildlife Refuge. 2002. Web
         .<http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/salinas/final_ccp.pdfhttp://>.
V.7 Groundwater Ordinances in San Luis Obispo County
V.8 Groundwater Ordinances in Monterey County
V.9 Agriculture
V.10 Aggregate Removal
V.11 Low Stream flow on the Salinas
V.12 Climate Change
Part VI: Implementation

VI.1 Coordination with San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties


VI.2 Public Outreach
1.0 Information/Publications
1. “Dreaming the Salinas”- A short documentary:
Production of a short documentary explaining the history, restoration efforts, beneficial
uses, and importance of the Salinas River will aid in garnering interest and support for the
Dreaming the Salinas project. Professionals and experts from the public and private
sectors will be interviewed about why the stewardship of the Salinas River is important
economically and environmentally. The documentary will be shown at local schools
during assemblies, during public events, and public water related workshops as a brief
introduction to the project and overview of the Dreaming the Salinas goals. If funds are
available, free copies of the documentary will be distributed to the public.
2. Informative Booths:
A volunteer Dreaming the Salinas booth will be set up at the San Luis Obispo Farmers
Market as well as other local markets within the county to gain more public support and
increase recruitment. Informational fliers and posters on the project will be displayed for
public notice. Additionally, the Dreaming the Salinas mascot, Tommy the Southwestern
pond turtle will be present at the market to actively gain children interest. Volunteers will
run the booth and actively inform the public on the project.
3. E-mail Updates:
At every Dreaming the Salinas event an e-mail or contact list should be distributed for
those interested in receiving bi-monthly e-mails on Dreaming the Salinas project updates,
involvement opportunities, open forums, etc. It is important that the public has access to
up-to-date information on the Dreaming the Salinas project and feels involved in the
process of making it a success.
4. Publication:
To increase the scope of public interest and knowledge of the Dreaming the Salinas
project, a publication can be created on the project details and updates. A small flyer or
summary publication can be created in the preliminary stages of the project to be mass
distributed to residences throughout the county to increase public knowledge of the
project. Thereafter, this document can be dispersed every other month to individuals who
are on the contact list. If an entire report is not within the project budget or time frame,
then the Dreaming the Salinas project should seek sections of the local newspapers
distributed throughout the county to post community involvement opportunities and other
facts about the project.

2.0 Events
1. Annual Creek Clean-Up Day:
Every year San Luis Obispo County holds the county wide event known as Creek Day. It
is a day where volunteers from all around the County clean up their local creeks and
streams in an effort to promote environmental awareness and stewardship of their
respective waterways. Incorporating Dreaming the Salinas into this annual County wide
event will promote awareness and stewardship for the Salinas River and its tributaries.
Dreaming the Salinas volunteers will head clean-up crews that will go out on Creek Day
to clean it of trash and human debris. While out in the field our volunteers will
interactively teach the public about the river and it’s importance to the local community.
This will provide a excellent opportunity for networking with the public and presenting
our vision of the river while simultaneously cleaning it up.

2. Water Quality 3‐Day Short Course:

A curriculum for water quality and how it relates to the health of the Salinas River could
be developed for educational purposes. City officials, government members, contractors,
developers, local businesses, and interested citizens would be invited to attend.
Curriculum would educate attendees about proper water quality, mitigation measures, and
other water quality related themes. Professionals from the private and public sector will
be invited to speak and present their material in an interactive manner including outside
and classroom instruction.
3. Festival of the Arts:
Paso Robles’ Festival of the Arts provides a window to help support the Dreaming the
Salinas project and increase the public awareness. Collaborating with the City of Paso
Robles and becoming part of this festival will help increase overall environmental
awareness of the Salinas River--benefiting both the Dreaming the Salinas project and the
city of Paso Robles efforts in watershed management. The linking of these two projects
will create a larger outreach force. At the festival, the vision of the Dreaming the Salinas
project will be highlighted through pamphlets, the Dreaming the Salinas Video, various
“Do you know the Salinas?” questionnaires, Tommy the turtle mascot, as well as other
promotional activities. With the incorporation of arts and craft activities the public can
conceptualize the future of the river and feel more connected to the project. All Dreaming
the Salinas participants should be encouraged to attend to promote the project. Thus, the
public can feel empowered and inspired to get involved in the rivers future.
4. Wine Festival:
Incorporating The Wine Festival into Dreaming the Salinas Project will provide support
and knowledge about the project. The aim of the Festival will be to educate the public
about the inherent values of the Salinas River via a collective interest in wine and
gathering event. Information can be distributed at the event on the Dreaming the Salinas
project through brochures, billboards, and T shirts. This will be beneficial not only for the
Wine Companies involved, as a positive charitable image, but also for the Dreaming the
Salinas Project. The Wine Festival will undoubtedly bring a large crowd which could also
encourage donations to the foundation. The foundation could also ask local businesses for
item donations, which can be sold in a silent auction that will raise money for the
foundation.
5. Run the River:
Another outreach program that can be facilitated through the Dreaming the Salinas
project is a spring 5k walk/run and 10k run. This event will take place directly next to the
Salinas River, where participants will enjoy the scenic beauty of the river and
environment as they run or walk on the trails created through the Dreaming the Salinas
project. The Run the River event will increase public knowledge and support of the
project and also generate some funds for the project. At the event information on the
Dreaming the Salinas project will be available, as well as training and volunteer
opportunities. Information on this event will be posted on the Dreaming the Salinas
website, posters and fliers can be distributed throughout the county to increase
participation.


3.0 Training/Volunteer Opportunities
1. Volunteer Recruitment & Training:
To increase public knowledge of the Dreaming the Salinas project and gain more public
support, a variety of measures will be implemented. A volunteer recruitment and public
outreach department of the Dreaming the Salinas will be in charge of the organization
and coordination of community involvement. Personnel in this department will distribute
various informational public fliers and publications on the project throughout San Luis
Obispo County pertaining to volunteer work days monthly. All ages should be
incorporated into the Dreaming the Salinas projects. The various recreational sites
throughout the county (i.e. public trails, lakes, public parks) should be targeted as well as
the schools throughout the county. A two hour training session giving the baseline
overview of skills and duties that will be performed on the projects will be provided
twice a month via qualified personnel. Once this training session is completed, an
individual is qualified to voluntary on any working project along the Salinas. The
volunteer projects will include: ongoing removal of non‐native vegetation, planting,
trail maintenance and upkeep, and a Water Quality 3-day short course. Further
information on the training information will be available on the Dreaming the Salinas
website.
2. Volunteers:
The Dreaming the Salinas project will attempt to utilize several organizations for
volunteer labor. The organizations that the foundation will try collaborate with are as
follows: Grizzly Academy, Local Schools, Boy/Girl Scouts of America, community
resource center, Cal Poly, Cuesta, AEP, EcoSlo, Surfriders Assoc., NRCS, EPA,
CCSWRCB, and any other charitable/volunteer/governmental organizations. Through the
partnership of these organizations the foundation can hopefully gain the support it needs
for projects and outreach to the public. The volunteers will work on a variety of tasks
pertaining to the Dreaming the Salinas project.

4.0 Education
1. Public Education:
We can measure the success of the outreach program by measuring the amount of
progress made by volunteers that were gained through educational opportunities and
volunteer positions. The Dreaming the Salinas project will develop a public training plan
that will allow for the collaboration of local schools, volunteers, and
developers/contractors. As the first step of this training plan, an introduction to the
project will being with a community open house forum will provide a means for the
public to learn about the project, ask questions, and give input. These open forums should
be encouraged throughout the communities where the Dreaming the Salinas project will
take place. The city halls will provide a structured and welcoming setting for the forum.
The Dreaming the Salinas project heads should facilitate the forum as well as other
personnel directly involved in the creation of the master plan. At the open house the
Dreaming the Salinas Documentary can be presented, as well as informational brochures
and contact information. See volunteer recruitment and training for more information.
2. Partnering with Local High Schools:
Engaging and educating local teenagers who use and live by the Salinas River is a vital
part of establishing a sense of pride and stewardship. Empowering young adults to view
the river as symbol of their local area will also help mentor young children, of the Paso
Robles/Atascadero area, who look up to these teenagers as role models. Classroom field
trips to the river and presentations infused into the school curriculum are many ideas that
will serve to educate young adults about the importance of the Salinas River. Also,
classroom trips to the river to help in restoration efforts, provides a fun and educational
activity to the classroom. An integration of the high school detentions or community
service hours can also be incorporated into the project. In addition too class room
activities, the Dreaming the Salinas documentary can be shown to students which can
stimulate further public knowledge and interest.

4.0 Others
1. Internships:
The Dreaming the Salinas project should offer volunteer internships and welcome young
adults to directly work in the project. These active individuals can be a driving force in
the project’s future if such an opportunity is available. Cal Poly and Cuesta students
should be encouraged to become involved in the project gaining units through senior
projects or internships. The job opportunities can range anywhere from natural resource
management to community outreach, with anything in between.
2. A Design/Brainstorm Workshop:
A public outreach and community visioning effort for the Dreaming the Salinas Master
Plan should be implemented in the preliminary stages of the project. Community
members throughout the cities adjacent to the Salinas River should be encouraged to
share their thoughts and visions about a revitalized river corridor in a 2-Day
Design/Brainstorm Workshop. This input could be collected and culminated into the final
design of the project. Invitations to join the event should be distributed to a wide group of
professionals, encouraging them to participate alongside the community members. The
following participants/stakeholders should be emphasized to join: Landscape Architect
Volunteers (American Society of Landscape Architects/ASLA members and Cal Poly
Students); State and Federal Resource and Environmental and/or Regulatory Agencies
(including: Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, County
Parks, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Caltrans
and the Department of Fish and Game); Property Owners along the River; and
Community/Interest Groups (Chamber of Commerce, Amigos de Anza and North County
Trails, Archaeologists, Audobon Society, Regional Conservation District, and Trust for
Public Land). The workshop will begin with a hike of the Salinas River Corridor and
trails to internalize the serene tranquility of the Salinas River and experience first hand
the innate value of this natural environment. The participants should be guided by a
Dreaming the Salinas project manager to give an overview of the project goals for a
baseline of information.
3. Dreaming the Salinas Vision Contest:
To generate some enthusiasm about the project and gain some public insight on their
views and values of the Salinas River a Dreaming the Salinas art contest could be
generated. All ages should be encouraged to participate in this art contest, where
applicants would draw or create a picture, or craft of what they like most about the river
or what they would like to see in the river’s future along with a short written explanation
of their piece. All of the projects could be collected and the winners selected could be
incorporated into the Dreaming the Salinas project logo and master plan. Information
about this event could be distributed through schools, churches, or other Dreaming the
Salinas events.



VI.3 Grants
Appendices
Technical Analysis and Amendments:

The Salinas River Channel Maintenance Program: Initial Study with
Mitigated Negative Declaration, Public Draft 2009




Background

The Salinas River is the largest water resource in the central coast of California that
stretches from San Luis Obispo County to Monterey County, approximately 170 miles in
length and draining 4,160 square miles. The overall watershed provides residents with a
place of recreation, wildlife with a suitable corridor, and farmers with a potable water
source.
The City of Paso Robles is working on restoring, protecting, and enhancing the water
quality, riparian habitat, flood control, and groundwater recharge values of the property
along the Upper Salinas River. Both land acquisition and restoration were phases of the
Upper Salinas River Parkway, protecting approximately fifty acres of key riparian area,
increasing native vegetation, decreasing the amount of sedimentation reaching the river,
and reducing the urban pollutants found in the river. The overall protection of the Salinas
River is key in managing the health of the watershed and tributaries.
Vision Statement

There are multiple management plans for the Salinas River, ranging from land
management, watershed management, and maintenance programs, protecting the intrinsic
values of the Salinas. The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, in partnership
with the City of Paso Robles, have created a Salinas River Parkway Management Plan for
the approximate 154 acres of acquired/public conservation and restored land, nearest to
the City of Paso Robles. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has
generated a Salinas River Watershed Management Action Plan, for increasing the overall
water quality of the Salinas River.
The Salinas River Channel Maintenance (SRCM) Program, written by the Monterey
County Water Resource Agency, is the guiding document that provides maintenance
criteria for the mitigation measures, described in the program plan. The program consists
of the analysis of an Initial Study Mitigated Negative Declaration, which combines
eighteen key issues, objectives and implementation measures for the program plan. The
following documentation provides edited and further analysis of the SRCM Program, for
the purpose of managing the water resource, improving the flood protection, and avoiding
flood damages.
Introduction
The Salinas River Channel Maintenance Program Area is located in Monterey County
and includes the tributaries of Gonzales Slough, Bryant Canyon Channel, and San
Lorenzo Creek, for a total of approximately 94 river miles. Historically, the land adjacent
to the Salinas River and its tributaries has experienced restricted and disastrous floods. To
alleviate the flooding potential of the reservoirs, the intentional releasing of water
happens and often results in silt transport and sandbar formation along the river. The wet
conditions encourage in-channel vegetation growth which, in turn, further increases
sediment deposition and mid-channel sandbars. Both in-channel vegetation and sandbars
will reduce the overall water transportation capacity of the river. This results in the land
being more prone to flooding and, consequently, why channel maintenance is an
important aspect to those living along the Salinas River.
For this project, Monterey County is proposing to conduct voluntary channel
maintenance activities with landowners and the appropriate federal, state, and local
agencies. The channel maintenance would be carried out by the owners of property
adjacent to the river and those activities would be considered and approved on an annual
basis. This annual approval is to ensure the assessment of hydrological conditions which
will vary throughout the implementation of the program. Some of the key channel
maintenance activities are: non-native vegetation treatment, native vegetation treatment,
sediment management, and bank stabilization. To reduce the risk of flooding, the channel
maintenance activities would be focused in areas with limited channel capacity. The
following areas are aspects of the Maintenance Program that have been determined to
contain a threshold significance related to the environmental impacts associated to the
program activities. Further analysis is described to show that these thresholds are relative
and consistent to the planning and preservation of the entire Salinas River.



Aesthetics
A) Have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: The riverbed is not considered a conspicuous landscape feature because of the
flat topography of the valley floor. In addition to that, the riparian vegetation along the
river corridor is much more visible than the channel itself and is therefore what the river
channel is usually identified as. Roadwork done near the river is blocked by the
vegetation so that it is not a visually degrading feature. The only work that would be
visible from County roads and the highway would be work that is done directly in the
channel. In this case, there still would not be a degradation of the views in entirety. That
is why the impacts from the Project on the scenic views would be less than significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant” is
sufficient and does not require further amendments.
B) Substantially damage scenic resources, including, but not limited to, trees, rock
outcroppings, and historical buildings within a state scenic highway?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: There will not be an impact from the project on the scenic resources since no
trees or rock outcroppings would be substantially damaged.
Amendments: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.


C) Substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its
surroundings?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: The channel maintenance activities are expected be able to be seen from the
County roads and the state highway, but the natural regeneration process is expected to
re-establish the natural stream aesthetics. It is expected that the winter flows and/or
upstream reservoir releases will redistribute the in-channel and floodplain sediments as
well as help the in stream riparian vegetation to establish. Impacts are expected to be less
than significant since the project is predicted to not substantially degrade the visual
character or quality of the site. However, assumptions are made on the climatic
conditions of the years following the project. It is assumed that hose years will be typical
rainfall years and that the additional water in the channel will contribute to the
regeneration of the typical habitat.
Amendments: After analysis, an amendment is proposed to this section to include a
mitigation/management plan for what should occur in an abnormal rainfall year. A severe
drought of year of floods would impact the rate at which regeneration takes place, so I
mitigation strategy should be created in case that occurs.


D) Create a new source of substantial light or glare which would adversely affect day or
nighttime views in the area?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: All of the channel maintenance activities would occur during the daylight
hours, so there would be no new creation of substantial light or glare from this project.
No impact would occur.
Amendments: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.
Agriculture and Forest Resources
A) Convert Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, or Farmland of Statewide Importance
(Farmland), as shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the Farmland Mapping and
Monitoring Program of the California Resources Agency, to non-agricultural use?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: The Project site is classified by the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring
Program as “Other Land”. This classification is for non-agricultural or natural vegetation
areas. The project does not propose the conversion o f adjacent farmland to non-
agricultural use, so there is no impact.
Amendments: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.


B) Conflict with existing zoning for agricultural use, or a Williamson Act contract?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: There are no lands present under Williamson Act contract and the area is not
zoned for agricultural use, so no impact would occur.
Amendments: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.


C) Conflict with existing zoning for, or cause rezoning of, forest land (as defined in
Public Resources Code Section 12220(g)) or timberland (as defined in Public Resources
Code Section 4526)?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: While the project does call for the removal of some Class I, Class II, and Class
III vegetation it does not call for the removal of any timber resources. The riparian stream
corridor is not designated as forest land and the Project will not require rezoning of the
land. Due to that, there should not be any zoning conflicts and no impact will occur.
Amendments: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.


D) Result in the loss of forest land or conversion of forest land to non-forest use?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: There will be no loss of forest land or conversion of forest land to non-forest
use as a result of the project. No impact will occur.
Amendments: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.


E) Involve other changes in the existing environment which, due to their location or
nature, could result in conversion of Farmland to non-agricultural use or conversion of
forest land to non-forest use?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: Long-term changes to the environment, such as diverting water from
agricultural use to other uses, are not going to result from the project. No impact would
occur.
Amendment: After analysis, the determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and does not
require further amendments.

Air Quality
A) Conflict with or obstruct implementation of the applicable air quality plan?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: The use of vehicles and machinery for channel maintenance would result in
increased levels of ozone, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide released into the air
from exhaust. However, this increase would be temporary and localized to the
maintenance site which would not interfere with the implementation of the 2008 Air
Quality Management Plan for the Monterey Bay Region. This means that the impacts of
the Project on air quality would be less than significant.
Amendment: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant” is
sufficient and does not require further amendments.


B) Violate any air quality standard or contribute substantially to an existing or projected
air quality violation?
Determination: Less than Significant with Mitigation
Analysis: Vegetation removal and sandbar grading are examples of channel maintenance
activities that generate fugitive dust of which would be particulate matter. This is a
pollutant of most concern and fugitive dust emissions could cause substantial increases in
concentrations of PM10 which could affect compliance with the regional ambient air
quality standards. Channel maintenance activities that disturb more than 2.2 acres are
likely to exceed the threshold for PM10s of 82 pounds per day. If channel maintenance
should disturb more than 2.2 acres per day, then Mitigation Measures AR-1 and AR-2
will be implemented to minimize these effects.
Amendment: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant with
Mitigation” is sufficient and does not require further amendments.


C) Result in a cumulatively considerable net increase of any criteria pollutant for which
the project region is non-attainment under an applicable federal or state ambient air
quality standard (including releasing emissions which exceed quantitative thresholds for
ozone precursors)?
Determination: Less than Significant with Mitigation
Analysis: The construction that is part of the channel maintenance would increase the
amount of ozone and ozone precursors such as nitrous oxide in the air due to exhaust.
This could lead to a significant impact since the Project could contribute substantially to
the existing air quality violation. The same mitigation measures as mentioned in part B
would be in effect to reduce the impacts of construction emissions.
Amendment: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant with
Mitigation” is sufficient and does not require further amendments.


D) Expose Sensitive Receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: There are no adjacent Sensitive Receptors that would be affected by the
fugitive dust or other emissions from the maintenance site. In addition to that, the
measures used by the mitigation plan will reduce the amount of fugitive dust produced.
For that reason, the impact would be less than significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant” is
sufficient and does not require further amendments.


E) Create objectionable odors affecting a substantial number of people?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: Localized odors from the exhaust of diesel vehicles will be produced during the
short time between September 1 and October 31. There are no adjacent Sensitive
Receptors and the impact would be less than significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant” is
sufficient and does not require further amendments.

Biological Resources
A) Have a substantial adverse effect, either directly or through habitat modifications on
any species identified as a candidate, sensitive, or special status species in local or
regional plans, policies, or regulations, or by the California Department of Fish and Game
or U.s. Fish and Wildlife Service?
Determination: Less than Significant with Mitigation
Analysis: No special-status plant species are found on site, but several special-status
animal species are found on site. To cope with those species, take avoidance measures
such as Mitigation Measure BIO-1, BIO-2, and BIO-3 have been implemented. These
mitigation measures will ensure the safety of those animals and the impact should be less
than significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant with
Mitigation” is sufficient and does not require further amendments.


B) Have a substantial adverse effect on any riparian habitat or other sensitive natural
community identified in local or regional plans, policies, and regulations or by the
California Department of Fish and Game or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?
Determination: Less than Significant with Mitigation
Analysis: The vegetation near the stream and riparian corridor may be directly modified
as a result of the Project. Protocol from the Maintenance Program consists of native
vegetation maintenance, non-native vegetation maintenance, and sandbar grading
components. In effort to minimize damage to the riparian vegetation, existing roads will
be used whenever possible. Whenever new roads need to be constructed, any trees that
are removed that have a dbh of three inches or more will be mitigated for by a planting of
a native riparian plant. With the mitigation measures in place, the effects will be less than
significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant with
Mitigation” is sufficient and does not require further amendments.


C) Have a substantial adverse effect on federally protected wetlands as defined by
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (including, but not limited to, marsh, vernal pool,
coastal, etc.) through direct removal, filling, hydrological interruption, or other means?
Determination: Less than Significant with Mitigation
Analysis: Stream and riparian habitat may be directly modified as a result of the Project.
The river is regulated under the Clean Air Act, however, impact to the water would be
less than significant with the mitigation measures in place.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant with
Mitigation” is sufficient and does not require further amendments.
D) Interfere substantially with the movement of any native resident or migratory fish or
wildlife species or with established native resident or migratory wildlife corridors, or
impede the use of native wildlife nursery sites?
Determination: Less than Significant with Mitigation
Analysis: The Salinas River in Monterey County is used as a migration corridor for the
Steelhead Trout. Channel maintenance work would not take place during the migration
period. However, the maintenance to the channel could alter the low-flow channel to a
point that migration would be effected the following year. The work could also possibly
result in impassable barriers in low flow conditions. A reduction in habitat space for the
Steelhead could also occur. However, consideration to the sedimentation caused by bank
erosion needs to be assessed. Results would be less than significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant with
Mitigation” is sufficient and does not require further amendments.


E) Conflict with any local policies or ordinances protecting biological resources, such as
a tree preservation policy or ordinances?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: None of the trees removed during the project will be “heritage trees” pursuant
to the regulations for the Preservation of Oak and Other Protected Trees of the Monterey
County Zoning Ordinance. The removal of the trees will not be significant due to the
small area of potential impact.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “Less than Significant” is
sufficient and does not require further amendments.


F) Conflict with the provisions of an adopted Habitat Conservation Plan, Natural
Community Conservation Plan, or other approved local, regional, or state habit
conservation plan?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: The project site is not covered by a Habitat Conservation Plan, Natural
community Conservation Plan, or other approved local, regional, or state habitat
conservation plan. No impact will occur.
Amendments: After analysis, the impact determination of “No Impact” is sufficient and
does not require further amendments.
Cultural Resources
A) Would the project cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical
resource?
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: Out of the 50+ cultural resource surveys that have been conducted in the area,
there have been six cultural resource sites recorded within the project area. Since all but
one of these sites is outside the 500- foot corridor within the project area. The site that
was discovered inside the project area was recorded in an area that has already been
“disturbed.” These discoveries indicate that the project would not likely cause a
substantial adverse change in the significance of any historical resource. However, there
is a small chance that there could be a discovery of new, unknown resources. Therefore,
there correct determination has been made to establish a mitigation measure to protect
any new cultural resources that may be encountered.


B) Would the project cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of an
archeological resource?
Determination: Less than significant with mitigation
Analysis: During the project, the potential for unidentified buried resources to be found
does exist, but is highly unlikely because the project area composes only river banks and
channels. It has been determined that the project area does not contain any know
archeological resources. Although unlikely, any discovery of new archeological resources
will be protected by Mitigation Measure CR-1. This mitigation will ensure than in any
new discovery, the impact will be less than significant.


C) Would the project directly or indirectly destroy a unique paleontological resource or
site or unique geologic feature?
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: There is almost no doubt that the impact will be less than significant. This is
due to the fact that there are no known fossil sites within the project area, the absence of
any unique geological resources, and the low paleontological sensitivity of the area.


D) Would the project disturb any human remains, including those interred outside of
formal cemeteries?
Determination: Less than significant with mitigation
Analysis: The correct determination has most likely been made because the site records
search and survey showed no evidence that the construction site contains human remains.
Also, the area has already been disturbed in the past. However, Mitigation Measure CR-2
is an integral part of the project plan in the event any human remains are discovered
during channel maintenance. The Mitigation Measure will ensure that impacts would be
less than significant to any discovery of human remains.

Geology and Soils
A) Would the project expose people or structures to potential substantial adverse effects,
including the risk of loss, injury, or death involving: rupture of a known earthquake fault,
strong seismic ground shaking, seismic-related ground failure, or landslides?
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: The determination of “less than significant” is valid because of the nature of the
land in the project zone. The mainstream Salinas River is composed mostly of clay,
gravel, sand, and silt sediments which would not expose people or structures to any of
these potential adverse effects. No mitigation is necessary.


B) Would the project result in loss of topsoil or substantial soil erosion
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: Since high erosion rates within the Salinas River are a natural process anyways,
erosion is not of high concern with this project. Erosion of stream banks in the Salinas is
likely for this project, but it is still correct to say that the extra erosion created by the
project will be a small fraction of the suspended sediment load in the grand scheme of
things. Therefore, no mitigation measures will be necessary for this.


C) Would the project be located on a geologic unit or soil that is unstable, or that would
become unstable as a result of the project, and potentially result in on or off site landslide,
lateral spreading, subsidence, liquefaction, or collapse?
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: This is also not an area of high concern for this project, as the project area in
not located in an area that is prone to landslides or subsidence. It is highly likely that the
impacts would be less than significant. Therefore, no mitigation is necessary.


D) Would the project be located on expansive soil, creating substantial risks to life or
property?
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: This concern would no doubt be less than significant, as the on-site soils have a
low to moderate expansion potential. No mitigation necessary.
Would the project have soils incapable of adequately supporting the use of septic tanks or
alternative waste water disposal systems where sewers are not available for the disposal
of waste water?
Determination: No impact
Analysis: There would be no impact because the project will not involve the use of
alternative waste water disposal systems. No mitigation necessary.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
A) Would the project Generate greenhouse gas emissions, either directly or indirectly,
that may have a significant impact on the environment, based on any applicable threshold
of significance?
Determination: Less than significant with mitigation.
Analysis: The correct determination has been mad that with mitigation, the impacts
would be less than significant. Since Mitigation Measure AIR-2 requires the use of
emulsified diesel fuel in existing engines and to use gasoline powered equipment over
diesel powered equipment, greenhouse gas emissions associated with diesel fuel would
be reduced significantly. Because of the reduction of these emissions, the impact, with
the mitigation measure, would be less than significant.


B) Would the project conflict with any applicable plan, policy, or regulation of an agency
adopted for the purpose of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gasses?
Determination: Less than significant.
Analysis: The project would not result in increased greenhouse gas emissions over the
existing conditions. There is no doubt that the project would not conflict with the state’s
goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, no mitigation measures would be
required, and the impact would be less than significant.



Hazards and Hazardous Materials
A) Would the project create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through
the routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials?
Determination: No impact.
Analysis: Since the project would not involve any routine transport, use or disposal of
hazardous materials, no impact would occur.
B) Would the project create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through
reasonably foreseeable upset and accident conditions involving the release of hazardous
materials into the environment?
Determination: Less than significant.
Analysis: Since there is a chance that the use of hazardous materials could result in
accidental release of the material, staging activities and refueling would be conducted
outside of the river/stream channel. These measures alone would prevent any release into
the Salinas River. Therefore, this impact would be less than significant.


C) Would the project emit hazardous emissions or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous
materials, substances, or waste within one-quarter mile of an existing or proposed school?
Determination: No impact.
Analysis: No impact would occur because the project site is not located within one
quarter mile of a school.


D) Would the project be located on a site which is included on a list of hazardous
materials sites, and as a result, would it create a significant hazard to the public or the
environment?
Determination: No impact.
Analysis: The project site is not included on any lists of hazardous materials sites.
Therefore, no impact would occur.


E) For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan has not been
adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use airport, would the project
result in a safety hazard for people residing or working in the project area?
Determination: No impact.
Analysis: Since the Project site is not located within an airport land use plan, within 2
miles of a public airport, or in the vicinity of a private airstrip, no impact would occur.


G) Would the project impair implementation of or physically interfere with an adopted
emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan?
Determination: No impact
Analysis: The correct determination has been made that there would be no impact
because of the proposed time from of the project (Sept. 1st through Oct. 31st).


H) Would the project expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury, or
death involving wildland fires, including where wildlands are adjacent to urbanized areas
or where residences are intermixed with wildlands?
Determination: Less than significant.
Analysis: By using properly maintained equipment and avoiding smoking while
conducting the channel maintenance activities, the impacts would be able to be reduced
to being less than significance.

Hydrology and Water Quality
A) Would the project violate any water quality standards or waste discharge
requirements?
Determination: Less than significant.
Analysis: The determination of “less than significant” is correct because of the fact that:
within the Salinas River, turbidity and erosion have always been a natural stream process.
The additional erosion and suspended sediment will constitute a very small fraction of the
suspended sediment load flowing down river. Also, the staging activities and refueling
will occur outside of the river channel to avoid releases into the river. Therefore, the
project would not conflict with applicable water quality standards, so the impacts would
be less than significant.


B) Would the project substantially deplete groundwater supplies or interfere substantially
with groundwater recharge such that there would be a net deficit in aquifer volume or a
lowering of the local groundwater table level (e.g., the production rate of preexisting
nearby wells would drop to a level which would not support existing land uses or planned
uses for which permits have been granted)?
Determination: No Impact


C) Would the project substantially alter the existing drainage pattern of the site or area,
including through the alteration of the course of a stream or river, in a manner which
would result in substantial erosion or siltation on- or off-site?
Determination: Less than significant
Analysis: The project would not substantially alter flows in a manner that would increase
siltation, flooding, or erosion. Therefore, the impact would be less than significant.
E) Would the project create or contribute runoff water which would exceed the capacity
of existing or planned stormwater drainage systems or provide substantial additional
sources of polluted runoff?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: Because the project would not create runoff water which would exceed the
capacity or planned stormwater drainage systems or provide substantial additional
sources of polluted runoff, no impact would occur.


F) Would the project otherwise substantially degrade water quality?
Determination: Less than significant.
Analysis: As stated previously, the small incremental increase in sediment loading caused
by the project over the next 5 years would amount to a very small fraction of the
suspended sediment load. Impacts would no doubt be less than significant.


G) Would the project place housing within a 100-year flood hazard area as mapped on a
federal Flood Hazard Boundary or Flood Insurance Rate Map or other flood hazard
delineation map?
Determination: No Impact.
Analysis: Since the project is not going to place any housing or other structures within a
100-year flood hazard area, no impacts due to flooding would occur.


I) Would the project expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury, or
death involving flooding, including flooding as a result of the failure of a levee or dam?
Determination: No Impact.
Analysis: As stated in the project plan, “The project would not expose people or
structures to a significant risk of loss, injury, or death involving flooding, including
flooding as a result of failure of a levee or dam.” Therefore, no impacts would occur.

Land Use and Planning
A) Physically divide an established community?
B) Conflict with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency with
jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan, specific plan,
local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the purpose of avoiding or
mitigating an environmental effect?
C) Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community
conservation plan?
Determination: Less Than Significant Impact or No Impact
Analysis: The Project would not significantly interfere with any current land use and
planning. It would not interfere with an established community because the Project site is
not located in an established community. It would have no long term changes in
activities/existing uses, though construction could cause temporary noise and dust
disruption. Mitigation measures would be taken to reduce any significant effects from
noise and dust. The Project would not conflict with any current habitat conservation plan
or natural community conservation plan because there are none that apply to the Project
area.
Amendments: No amendments are required due to the lack of conflict with current land
use and planning.

Mineral Resources
A) Result in the loss of availability of a known mineral resource that would be of value to
the region and the residents of the state?
B) Result in the loss of availability of a locally important mineral resource recovery site
delineated on a local general plan, specific plan or other land use plan?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: The Project would not significantly interfere with any existing mineral
resources. There are no existing mineral resources at the Project site according to the
California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act which requires the designation of
Mineral Resources Zones. Since there are no mineral resources in the area, they would
not be affected so no locally important mineral resource could be lost.
Amendments: All measures stated above are adequate, there are no mineral resources
facing the threat of exploitation.

Noise

A) Result in the exposure of persons to or generation of noise levels in excess of
standards established in the local general plan or noise ordinance, or applicable standards
of other agencies?
B) Result in the exposure of persons to or generation of excessive groundborne vibration
or groundborne noise levels?
C) Result in a substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the project
vicinity above levels existing without the project?
D) Result in a substantial temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels in the
project vicinity above levels existing without the project?
E) For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan has not been
adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use airport, would the project
expose people residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?
F) For a project within the vicinity of a private airstrip, would the project expose people
residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?
Determination: Less Than Significant Impact or No Impact
Analysis: There would be an increase in noise levels during the channel maintenance
period from September 1st to October 31st over the next five years. However these noise
levels would be intermittent throughout the day and have no significant impact on
sensitive land uses nearby. After completion, the noise levels would return to existing
conditions as the Project would have no impact on noise levels. Currently the existing
noise stems primarily from the traffic along Highway 101. There will be a temporary
increase in noise level from September 1st and October 31st over the next five years due to
construction/grading. Other than that the only noise is again the traffic along Highway
101 and the current agricultural/industrial uses. The new noise from the
construction/grading will be confined to the stream channel. Mechanical equipment could
individually reach noise levels of up to 80 to 90 dB. While there would be intermittent
vibrations there are no current land sensitive uses nearby that would be affected. There
would be no increased traffic on U.S. Highway 101 or County roads due to the channel
maintenance. The channel maintenance activities would affect recreationist using San
Lorenzo Regional Park only while they utilize park facilities. Lastly the Project is not
located within an airport land use plan, within 2 miles of a public airport or within the
vicinity of a private airstrip.
Amendments: The noise required to maintenance the channel would be minimal and
temporary. Once the channel maintenance is complete the noise return to existing levels.
Therefore no additional amendments are required.

Population and Housing
A) Induce substantial population growth in an area, either directly (for example, by
proposing new homes and businesses) or indirectly (for example, through extension of
roads or other infrastructure)?
B) Displace substantial numbers of existing housing, necessitating the construction of
replacement housing elsewhere?
C) Displace substantial numbers of people, necessitating the construction of replacement
housing elsewhere?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: The Project would not significantly interfere with any existing population or
housing. There would be no new housing constructed and no new roads constructed
therefore no population growth would be induced in the area as a result of the Project.
Since the Project site is not located near existing housing the Project would not displace
any housing or people.
Amendments: There is no significant population or housing thus, no amendments are
needed to ensure their protection.

Public Services
A) Would the project area result in substantial adverse physical impacts associated with
the provision, need, or construction of new or physically altered governmental facilities
in order to maintain acceptable service ratios, response times or other performance
objectives for fire protection, police protection, schools, parks, or other public facilities?
Determination: Less than Significant
Analysis: Public services during the maintenance activities related to fire and police
protection, schools, parks and other public facilities. During the construction activities,
maintaining equipment, avoiding smoking, and refueling outside the project area are
essential in reducing potential risks. Post-construction, the site will not require fire or
police response, nor will it create any new facilities or services. An increase in demand
for or use of schools, parks, or other public facilities such as libraries and hospitals is not
included in the impacts of the activity. Therefore, the impact would be less than
significant.
Amendments: After analysis, the public services impact determination of less than
significant is sufficient and does not required further amendments.

Recreation
A) Would increased use of existing neighborhood and regional parks or other recreation
facilities that substantially deteriorate occur or be accelerated?
B) Would the expansion of a recreation facility which might have adverse physical
effects on the environment occur?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: During the maintenance period of the program, no new residential or
commercial uses are proposed and included in the program. The maintenance would not
increase the use of existing or create a new recreational facility or structure. Therefore, no
impacts to the environment would occur.
Amendment: Since the maintenance program does not affect the existence or creation of
a recreation structure, no amendments are necessary.

Transportation and Traffic
A) Would the program cause an increase in traffic which is substantial in relation to the
existing traffic load and capacity of the street system?
B) Would the program contribute to exceeding the level of service standards?
C) Would the program result in a change in air traffic patterns?
D) Would the program substantially increase hazards due to a design feature?
E) Would the program result in inadequate emergency access?
F) Would the program result in inadequate parking capacity?
G) Would conflict with policies, plans, or programs support alternative transportation?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: The maintenance program is located near U.S. Highway 101 and various
County roads, which cross the Salinas River in the project site. However, the channel
maintenance activities would not affect the access to the channel reach and would not
affect the existing roadways. Therefore, no environmental impacts would occur.


Amendments: Due to no impacts found related to transportation and traffic, no further
amendments are required or necessary.

Utility and Service Systems
A) Would this program exceed wastewater treatment requirements for the Regional
Water Quality Control Board?
B) Would this program required the construction of new water or wastewater treatment
facilities or expansions of existing facilities?
C) Would the program require construction of a new storm water drainage facilities or
expansion of existing facilities?
D) Would the program have sufficient water supplies available to serve the project for
existing entitlements and resources?
E) Would the program result in the determination of wastewater treatment providers?
F) Would the program be served by a landfill for solid waste disposal needs?
G) Would the program comply with federal, state, and local statues and regulations
related to solid waste?
Determination: No Impact
Analysis: The maintenance program would not require or generate any solid waste or
wastewater that is unmanageable for typical stream channel maintenance, requiring new
facilities for wastewater or solid waste treatment plants. Therefore, no impacts occur for
the program.
Amendment: There are no significant impacts for the Utilities and Service Systems, so no
further amendments will be implemented.

Conclusion
In conclusion, from analyzing the impacts of the Channel Maintenance Program (CMP) it
is clear that the Project would have no significant negative effects. Ideally the Salinas
would not be interfered with as it is part of its natural cycle to flood the overlying plains.
This is what created the fertile agricultural land that currently resides on these plains in
the first place. However it is impractical to expect farmers/land owners to move off of
this both valuable and vulnerable land. Therefore a system needs to be established to
facilitate how the Salinas is managed, monitored, and maintenance; and the revised
Channel Maintenance Program is a suitable response. The main amendments would be to
construct any levees along existing roads and outside the riparian area. This would allow
the Salinas to move freely across the landscape without the threat of being channelized by
linear levees. However, from reading over the document it seems that the measures that
the document wants to add to the current CMP are well thought-out and would be an
added benefit to the Salinas. In dreaming the Salinas it would be important to include on
the agenda.
References



Entrix. Salinas River Channel Maintenance Program. Rep. Monterey County Water
        Resources     Agency,    June      2009.    Web.    1    June   2011.
        <http://www.mcwra.co.monterey.ca.us/Agency_data/SRCMP/SR%20CMP_MN
        D_Public%20Draft_7-1-09.pdf>.



North SLO County Map

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:12
posted:12/18/2011
language:
pages:86