Central Coast Watershed Studies Team

Some of this site has been moved to a new CCoWS home page.


CCoWS Lagoon Studies


Many Central Coast rivers have periodic sand-bar lagoons at their mouths. These lagoons open each winter with the first major storm, and close each spring. They are important for fish pasage and steelhead smoltification habitat.

The CCoWS team from the Watershed Institute at CSUMB is studying the hydrology and water quality of the Salinas and Carmel Lagoons in conjunction with various Monterey County agencies. Both these lagoons are manually breached each year to alleviate flooding problems, a process which must be closely monitored to ensure minimal habitat impact. The Carmel Lagoon is also believed to be linked to shallow groundwater systems in the lower Carmel Valley, leading to the possibility that groundwater extractions may affect the lagoon ecology.


  1. 2000-1 report to MCWRA
  2. 2001-2 report to MCWRA
  3. 2002-3 report to MCWRA
  4. 2004 report to Cal-Am
  5. 2004 report on habitat types
  6. 2004 report to State Parks
  7. 2004-5 report to State Parks
  8. 2005-6 report to State Parks
  9. 2006-7 report to State Parks
  10. 2006 report to CDFG and Garrapata WC
  11. 2007 thesis on invertebrates
  12. 2007 report by CSUMB class
  13. 2008 report by CSUMB class
  14. 2009 report by CSUMB class
  15. 2010 thesis on invertebrates
  16. 2016 report by CSUMB class

Photo & data


  • Monterey County Water Resources Agency
  • Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation
  • California-American Water Company


Project leader: Dr Fred Watson
Original senior technicians: Joel Casagrande, Joy Larson, Billy Perry
Plus: many other staff and CSUMB students since.


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27 Nov 2016 Webmaster