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The Water Resources Agency manages, protects, stores and conserves water resources in Monterey County for beneficial and environmental use, while minimizing damage from flooding to create a safe and sustainable water supply for present and future generations.

Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program (SMP)


 Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program (SMP)

Interested in participating in the 2018 Fall Maintenance Season?
The online Work Plan Form is available until April 30th.  Please fill it out today!

Are you a landowner or lessee with questions about participating?
Please contact the RMU Association at:
Donna Meyers, Executive Director
(831) 535-3979


Monterey County Water Resources Agency, (MCWRA), Resource Conservation District of Monterey County (RCDMC), and the Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program River Management Unit Association have developed a Stream Maintenance Program (SMP). The SMP is a coordinated approach to vegetation and sediment management that is conducted voluntarily by individual property owners, growers, and municipalities (Participants) along the main stem of the Salinas River (River miles 2 to 94) and three select tributaries: Gonzales Slough, Bryant Canyon Channel, and San Lorenzo Creek. The SMP is a collaborative and science-based approach that allows participants to manage vegetation and sediment in specific Maintenance Areas along the river to maximize flood flow capacity, minimize bank erosion and minimize environmental effects. The SMP helps to protect against flooding during and after moderate storm events while enhancing habitat value. 

The Salinas River mainstream and the tributaries are collectively referred to as the Program Area.  The Program Area is further broken down into seven River Management Units (RMUs).  Designated Maintenance Areas within each RMU have been identified and permitted based on available data such as topography, flood flows and vegetation communities. Participants can work only in the designated Maintenance Areas. Please see the map below for the specific locations of the 129 Maintenance Areas.  

In order to participate in the SMP, landowners, growers or municipalities should contact Donna Meyers, Executive Director, Salinas River Stream Maintenance River Management Association (RMU Association) at 831-535-3979 or conservecollab@gmail.com to join the RMU Association before performing maintenance. The Association will coordinate landowner work plan applications with MCWRA and RCDMC to ensure completeness.

Maintenance Area Locator Map

Click on the map below

If a Maintenance Area lies on your property and you are interested in participating then please submit a Work Plan Form by the annual deadline.  Maintenance Area locations are approximate and will need to be field-verified during pre-maintenance surveys.


The SMP has been ongoing since 2016 over the Program Area. The MCWRA is the lead public agency and holds the Army Corps of Engineers Regional General Permit and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Water Quality Certification.  The RCDMC holds the Routine Maintenance Agreement from California Department of Fish & Wildlife.  These agencies oversee the SMP and administer the SMP according to the conditions in the state and federal permits.  The implementation of the SMP occurs through landowner and lessee participation in the Salinas River RMU Association, Inc. a non-profit entity.  Together these organizations have brought participants together to work successfully under the SMP.

 In any given year, river conditions and participation may change and a flexible process has been implemented based on annual work plans. These work plans outline proposed work for the Spring and Fall work seasons and must be approved prior to commencement of work.  The Spring work season begins June 1 and continues to August 31 and allows Arundo herbicide treatment. The Fall work season begins September 1 and continues to November 15 and allows vegetation maintenance, sediment removal and grading, and Arundo removal in the permitted Maintenance Areas. Each year, applications are solicited through an online form with a March 1st and April 30th deadline respectively, for the two work seasons. 

 In order to participate, work must be proposed only in permitted Maintenance Areas and Participants must be a member of the RMU Association of landowners and lessees in order to have full coverage of all necessary permits and associated reporting.  Once work plans are submitted by a landowner or lessee the RMU Association will assist landowners in completing the work plans as requested and submitting the materials to MCWRA and RCDMC. MCWRA and RCDMC then submit an Annual Work Plan for permitting agency approvals before work can begin in the river. No work can commence without notification by MCWRA and RCDMC.

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Monterey County Water Resources Agency
1441 Schilling Pl., North Bldg., Salinas, CA 93901

    Phone (831) 755-4860   |   FAX (831) 424-7935   |   After Hours (831) 796-1166

Email: OfficeassistantII@co.monterey.ca.us