Environmental Information

This report comprises the annual reports required by the General Permit issued to the Monterey Regional Storm Water Permit Participants Group by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).  Carmel-by-the-Sea received its permit on May 1, 2008 and is a full and active participant in the regional storm water participants group.  For more information or for questions regarding the City's efforts to prevent storm water pollution, please contact City Hall at (831) 620-2000.

The following link is the documentation for the annual report.  These are all pdf files and some are rather large, so please wait for the download.

MRSWMP Annual Report

Flood Hazards
Carmel is located on a sloping terrain that offers good storm water runoff into both the Pacific Ocean and the Carmel River. There are two areas of the City, however, which have been identified as being prone to flooding: the beachfront and the Mission Trail Nature Preserve. The beach is subject to flooding during high tide and beach sand is lost yearly during winter storms. The Mission Trail Nature Preserve site is owned by the City and primarily used as a park. This use mitigates some of the damage that would normally result from the retention of water on the site. The only 100 year floodplain in the area lies outside the city limits along the Carmel River and up to 16th Avenue. Mission Fields, a residential area, is within the 100-year floodplain, as are the Carmel Center/Carmel Rancho shopping centers.

Erosion and Landslides
Erosion is a natural process caused by wind, water, and gravitational forces. This process generally creates two problems: the wear and removal of soil from one site and its deposit in another. The removal of soil can be damaging through gully erosion, wind-blown erosion, the erosion of stream courses and banks, and the erosion of coastal dunes and beach area. Soil deposit damage affects flood plains, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and may clog drainage structures. Development activities frequently accelerate erosion related damages and losses. Climate is another major contributor to potentially high erosion rates. This is due to a number of factors:

  • Geologic studies indicate that erosion is highest in areas where annual precipitation is between 7" and 18". Annual precipitation on the Monterey Peninsula ranges from 12.7" on the coast to 17.7" at the higher elevations.
  • Most of Carmel's rainfall occurs during the winter when temperatures are too low for rapid vegetative growth. Erosion on sloped inland areas and at the shoreline (beach) has been a problem for much of Monterey County, including Carmel. (See Slope Stability and Erosion data, Distribution of Hazards.) A discussion of Carmel beach erosion is included in the Open Space/ Conservation/Scenic Highway Element. The hazards due to erosion are difficult to separate from those due to flooding and landsliding. In some cases, erosion is a result of flood and landslide conditions; in others, rapid water runoff and landsliding can occur in areas subject to prolonged erosion.

The preventive costs of erosion are generally included within flood control measures and the overall costs of hillside development. Adoption of the present state of the art procedures for erosion prevention in hillside areas will, in most cases, eliminate losses.
Losses due to coastal erosion can be reduced most economically by avoiding construction in areas subject to severe erosion (County of Monterey General Plan, 1975). Erosion of the beach bluffs is addressed in the City's Master Beach Management and Emergency Action Plans.

Electric Vehicle

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more popular with many automotive companies releasing, or preparing to release, new EV models.  The increased popularity of EVs will lead to the need for accessible public charging stations. In 2010, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) received a grant to install public EV charging stations in various jurisdictions in the region. AMBAG performed an analysis to determine priority locations for charging stations in the region. Carmel-by-the-Sea was selected as one of the priority locations.

An EV Charger known as "Blink" was installed during 2011 at the north end of the north lot of the Sunset Center, located at the corner of Mission Street and Eighth Avenue. There is a fee to park in the lot, but once the parking fee has been paid, then the use of the EV Charger is free. There is an authorization card attached to the EV Charger. Once the card has been used to activate the machine, an EV vehicle can be plugged in. The City asks that the EV space be used for no more than four hours to allow other vehicles to use the space.

To learn more about the "Blink" EV Charger, please visit http://www.blinknetwork.com/.