Carmel River land & water poised to be protected for Monterey residents

Monterey residents will soon have a chance to enjoy more access to Palo Corona Regional Park and badly needed water will be returned to the Carmel River under a plan announced today by a coalition of conservation organizations to protect 140 acres along the river.

The land is a substantial portion of the Rancho Cañada Golf Club, under a lease that expires next year. It will be turned over to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District to continue serving the public.

“Protecting this precious land and water for the people of Monterey County and beyond is a fitting way to honor the legacy of the Hatton family, which has owned this property for many generations,” said Gina Fromer, California Director of The Trust for Public Land. “There is a lot of work still to do to make this happen, but it will be a landmark achievement when it does.” The Hatton property is located on the Carmel River roughly two miles from the ocean, just east of U.S. Highway 1.

Representing the Hatton family, Dryden Branson Bordin said, “This land has been in the family and contributing value to the community since the late 1800’s. After receiving multiple offers on the property and much consideration, the family decided to sell the property to a group that could create an even greater public good.”

The Trust for Public Land is one of the partners, along with the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, the Santa Lucia Conservancy and Trout Unlimited.

“In 1999, the Carmel River was ranked as one of America’s most threatened rivers. Today, the outline of a deal is in place that—combined with the recent San Clemente Dam Removal Project—offers real hope of making the Carmel one of the nation’s most restored waterways,” said Tim Frahm, the Central Coast Steelhead Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “Thanks to the vision of the Hatton family and these conservation partners, we are now much closer to the goal of bringing the Carmel River back to life and recovering its legendary run of wild steelhead trout. Through our combined efforts, the Carmel River may well become one of the most talked about restoration stories in America.”

“It’s incredible to see so many private, public and non-profit partners work together and combine resources to make something like this happen,” says Rafael Payan, General Manager of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. “This agreement secures a property that is critical in re-establishing connections for wildlife corridors and recreational opportunities from Marina to Big Sur and from the Carmel Valley to the Pacific Ocean. It also enhances access to Palo Corona Regional Park, and will offer nature-based programs for visitors of all ages, especially children and families.”

The total project is estimated to cost more than $10 million, and financing is anticipated through a variety of sources, including California state grants, private philanthropy and support from California American Water Company.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit

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