Crews move sand at Carmel Lagoon ahead of storm

Peninsula Premier Admin

CARMEL — Crews were out working Tuesday to move roughly 150 cubic yards of sand from the Carmel Lagoon sandbar as part of a project to minimize flood potential.

Special crews will be brought in as part of a management plan that lowers the sandbar in the winter to minimize flood risk, said Karen Riley-Olms, management analyst of the Monterey County Housing and Community Development department. The bar is then raised in the summer as part of habitat protection.

The crews cut a pilot channel on the south end of the beach, leaving a plug in place that can open on its own to allow a slow release of water to reduce flood risk.

The work comes on a day when most of Northern and Central California will be slammed by rain from the biggest atmospheric river in four years. The bulk of the storm was expected to come in sometime around midnight Tuesday.

Crews cut a pilot channel on the south end of Carmel Beach, leaving a plug in place that can open to allow a slow release of Carmel River water to reduce flood risk. (Photo courtesy of Monterey County)

The State Parks’ parking lot near the lagoon will be closed to the public during the work. The public is advised not to have ocean water contact until advisory signs are removed. Beach visitors are asked to remain a safe distance from the work area and respect temporary barriers and signage.

As part of its year-round lagoon monitoring and management program, the county typically raises the lagoon sandbar to protect the lagoon’s freshwater habitat from ocean water during the summer after lowering it in the winter to mitigate flood risk. Mechanical breaches or manipulation of the lagoon sandbar have been conducted for decades.

Contributed by local news sources

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