San Clemente Dam Removal Milestone Event and Ceremony

Largest Dam Removal Project in CA

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.--()--On Monday, June 6, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PST, California American Water, The State Coastal Conservancy and National Marine Fisheries Services will host a celebration and ceremony to mark the removal of San Clemente Dam from the Carmel River on California’s Central Coast. Federal, State and local elected officials, as well as members of the media are invited to attend.

Date: June 6, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Attendees are to arrive and park at Hidden Valley Music Seminars, 88 West Carmel Valley Road at 10 a.m. sharp. Buses will bring guests to the site of the former dam.

Light lunch will be served

The event is designed to recognize those who made significant contributions to the project. This includes numerous representatives from federal, state and local public agencies, as well as those in the Monterey County community who have committed great effort to bring the dam removal to fruition.

Speakers include:

  • Sam Farr, U.S. Representative, 20th District
  • Bill Monning, California State Senator, 17th District
  • Dave Potter, Monterey County Supervisor, 5th District
  • Samuel Schuchat, Executive Officer, California Coastal Conservancy
  • Barry Thom, Regional Deputy Administrator, West Coast Region, National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Rob MacLean, President, California American Water

Background interviews, photos, and tours are also available.

Contact to RSVP by Friday, June 3 (for media only):

Catherine Stedman
California American Water- External Affairs
Office: 831-646-3208
Mobile: 831-241-2990

Additional Background

The removal of the San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River has been called one of the greatest opportunities for river restoration and recovery of the threatened steelhead trout on California’s Central Coast. When the dam was torn down in the summer of 2015, it became the largest dam removal project in California history and established a model of how other needed dam removal and river habitat protection programs may be accomplished.

Deconstructing the dam was an $83 million undertaking, which involved sequestering the silt that had accumulated behind the dam and rerouting a ½ mile stretch of the river into an adjacent stream to bypass the sediment. It was an innovative solution to a complex problem that was undertaken through a collaborative effort between California American Water, the owners of the dam; and the California State Coastal Conservancy and National Marine Fisheries Service, who secured $34 million of the project total.

Among its many environmental benefits, the project:

  • Aides in the recovery of the threatened South Central California Coast Steelhead trout by providing unimpaired access to over 25 miles of essential spawning and rearing habitat.
  • Expands public recreation by preserving over 900 acres of coastal watershed lands, resulting in over 5,400 acres of contiguous parkland for low impact recreation.
  • Restores the river’s natural sediment flow, helping replenish sand on Carmel Beach and improve habitat for the steelhead trout.
  • Reduces beach erosion that now contributes to destabilization of homes, roads and infrastructure.
  • Reestablishes a healthy connection between the lower Carmel River and the watershed upstream of where the dam once stood.
  • Improves habitat for threatened California Red-Legged Frogs.

California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.

Founded in 1886, American Water Works Company is the largest and geographically diversified publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 47 states, and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency that works with the people of California to protect and improve the coast and San Francisco Bay. The conservancy has helped open more than 100 miles of coast and bay shores to the public and preserve more than 300,000 acres of wetlands, wildlife habitat, parks, and farmland.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


California American Water
Catherine Stedman, 831-241-2990


California American Water
Catherine Stedman, 831-241-2990