Don’t be fooled by that headline. It’s true that the San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River and the Matilija Dam in Ventura County are slated to be removed sometime in the future. But the Matilija Dam was approved for removal in 2004; the funding still is not available. Let’s hope the steelhead salmon run on the Carmel River makes that dam more of a priority, especially since the structure was declared unsafe nearly 20 years ago.
State dam inspectors declared it unsafe in 1991, at risk of collapse in a major earthquake. That left Cal Am with two choices: shore it up, estimated now to cost $50 million, or tear it down for $84 million. (“Deal Struck to Tear Down 106-Foot Dam” by Paul Rogers, Silicon Valley Mercury News, January 11, 2010)
We wouldn’t want to be in a hurry, now, would we?