"$84-Million Removal of a Dam on Carmel River Set To Begin"

"Dismantling of the silt-filled San Clemente, to start next month, is being called California's largest-ever dam removal."

"More than 90 years ago the San Clemente Dam rose on what John Steinbeck called in a novel 'a lovely little river' that 'has everything a river should have.'

These days, that's not so true of the Carmel River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean just south of Carmel. The river is overpumped. Flood plain has been lost to development, and the silted-up San Clemente is vulnerable to collapse in an earthquake, threatening 1,500 downstream structures.

But next month, in what officials say is the state's largest-ever dam removal, work will begin on a three-year project to dismantle the 106-foot-tall concrete dam and reroute half a mile of the river.

The demolition will open up 25 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for a threatened population of steelhead trout, help replenish sand on Carmel Beach and eliminate a huge headache for the utility that owns the dam."

Bettina Boxall reports for the Los Angeles Times June 23, 2013.

Source: LA Times, 06/24/2013