The purpose of IWRP is to facilitate and coordinate projects to improve fish and wildlife habitat and water quality using a voluntary, non-regulatory approach. One of our primary objectives is to provide technical and financial assistance to local project leads to design and implement high priority projects selected by the IWRP agency Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

In 2008, the State Coastal Conservancy awarded a funding to the RCD of Santa Cruz County to work with the RCDs in San Mateo and Monterey Counties to enable us to establish our own IWRP programs in our respective counties as well as continue some of the IWRP work in Santa Cruz County. For us that has entailed the following steps:

  1. Forming a Monterey County IWRP TAC consisting of resource agency personnel who have jurisdiction over or stewardship responsibilities for Monterey County natural resources;
  2. Surveying Monterey County organizations and agencies to compile a list of priority restoration projects needing design and permitting support;
  3. Reviewing that list with the TAC in order to select priority projects for IWRP Design and Permit funding based on project readiness and consistency with TAC member agencies’ priorities; and
  4. Securing Coastal Conservancy IWRP funding for selected projects and, once funded, developing the designs and permit packages for them.

Using this approach since initiating IWRP in Monterey County in 2009 we have developed design and permit packages for four restoration projects (Santa Rita Creek Watershed Assessment, Lower Post Creek Fish Passage Imrpovement, Riverside Campground Fish Passage Design, North Monterey County Amphibian Habitat Restoration Project); conducted rural road erosion/drainage management assessments to reduce sedimentation in local waterways along miles of roadway on the Big Sur coast, Carmel River, and Little Sur River; and have designs in process for projects on the Arroyo Seco River, Big Sur River, and Santa Rita Creek. With project designs and permits in place, the project proponents are better able to secure implementation funds. Of the road assessments and four designs completed so far, three projects have been awarded funding (and one of those built), and over many miles of roadway have been improved.

As part of this program, the RCD of Monterey County also partnered with the RCD of Santa Cruz County to update their Rural Road Maintenance Guide to create the Central Coast Private Road Maintenance Guide [link to pdf] for rural landowners wanting to maintain their private roads in a manner that reduces erosion risk, long-term maintenance costs, and impacts to nearby streams and wildlife. This is available for download in our Resource Library.

IWRP Design and Permitting Projects to date:

  • Glen Deven Eucalyptus Removal Project. Project Proponent: Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT). Status: completed in 2012. Contact: Patrick Riparetti at BSLT.
  • Santa Rita Creek Urban Greening (Bolsa Knolls). Project Proponent: Central Coast Wetlands Group (CCWG) and Ferrasci Little League Park. Status: installed in 2015. Contact: Kevin O’Connor at CCWG.
  • Lower Post Creek Fish Passage Improvement (Pfieffer-Big Sur State Park). Project Proponent: CA State Parks. Status: designs completed, implementation funding pending. Contact: Jeff Frey at CA State Parks.
  • Riverside Campground Fish Passage Improvement (Big Sur River). Project Proponent: Trout Unlimited and landowner. Status: 100% designs completed. Contact: Tim Frahm at Trout Unlimited.
  • North Monterey County Amphibian Habitat Restoration Project (Castroville). Project Proponents: Central Coast Wetlands Group and North Monterey County Unified School District. Status: installed in 2017. Contact Sarah Stoner-Duncan at CCWG or Kelli Camara at RCD of Santa Cruz County.
  • Blanco Drain Water Quality Improvement Projects. Project Proponents: RCDMC and landowners. Status: Two vertical flow, woodchip denitrification bioreactor designs complete: installation pending Fall 2020. Contact: RCDMC Civil Engineer Adrienne Carter.
  • Arroyo Seco Fish Passage Improvement Project. Project Proponents: Landowners and Trout Unlimited. Status: 100% designs under development. Contact: Tim Frahm at Trout Unlimited.
  • Potrero Creek Fish Passage and Habitat Improvement Project. Project Proponents: Trout Unlimited and landowners. Status: 100% designs complete for three barriers with Carmel River Settlement Funds. Construction scheduled for 2021. Contact: Tim Frahm at Trout Unlimited.
  • Juan Higuera Creek Fish Passage Improvement Project. Proponents: Landowner and Trout Unlimited. Status: 100% design complete. Project still in need of implementation funds. Contact: Tim Frahm at Trout Unlimited.
  • Santa Rita Creek Stream Management Plan. Project Proponent: RCDMC. Status: Completed as ‘Approaches and Practices to Enhance Conditions in the Santa Rita Watershed’ by Balance Hydrologics, Inc. on April 26, 2017. Contact: RCDMC Executive Director Paul Robins or Civil Engineer Adrienne Carter.
  • Salinas River Bank Stabilization Project. Project Propent: RCDMC. Status: 100% design complete. Contact Paul Robins at RCDMC.
  • Packard Stormwater Detention Pond for Agricultural Runoff. Status: 65% design in development. Contact Adrienne Carter at RCDMC.
  • Mitteldorf Bridge Replacement Project. Project Proponent: Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT). Status: 100% designs complete. Contact: Patrick Riparetti at BSLT.
  • Elkhorn Slough Eucalyptus Removal Planning Project. Project Proponent: Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF). Status: ongoing. Contact: Dash Dunkell at ESF.

Please contact us for more information.


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