Archived Workshops/References

ALBA Wetland Restoration


The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) owns two organic farms in Monterey County where limited-resource aspiring farmers and farm workers can grow and sell their organic produce. ALBA strives to advance their economic viability, social equity and ecological land management by creating opportunities for family farms, and providing education and demonstrations on conservation, habitat restoration, and whole farm planning.

Urban development and improperly managed agricultural areas are potential large sources of polluted runoff and threaten ecosystem health of the Elkhorn Slough. Fortunately, the Triple M Ranch and its important upstream floodplain/wetlands were salvaged from urban development and unsustainable agriculture practices when ALBA gained possession of the ranch in 2001 for organic production.

The Triple M Ranch plays a key role in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. It hosts the transition from fluvial to estuarine conditions on Carneros Creek, the primary fresh water tributary to Elkhorn Slough that provides more than 70% of the slough's freshwater.

ALBA developed the Triple M Ranch Management Plan to maintain ecological equilibrium and ecosystem health on the Triple M Ranch. Accordingly, areas that were once historic floodplains and that had been drained and dredged for nearly 80 years for agricultural purposes were taken out of production. Now, only 55 of the 195-acres on the ranch are under cultivation.

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The Carneros Creek riparian corridor on the Triple M Ranch is now the site of a wetlands restoration project that aspires to restore approximately 40-acres of historic floodplains and wetlands on the ranch to improve water quality entering the Elkhorn Slough. Restoration will allow reductions of orthophosphate, nitrates, suspended solids and turbidity, and reductions of diazinon and cloryrifos in water flowing into the slough. High concentrations of these primarily agricultural contaminants are directly linked to low water quality entering the slough. Another anticipated result of the project is that connectivity with adjacent wetlands will be improved. These enhanced floodplain processes will reestablish freshwater wetland habitat and create suitable breeding habitat and conditions for three endangered amphibian species found on the ranch: California Red-Legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, and Santa Cruz Long-Toed Salamander.

The restoration project is both large in scale and scope. It was sustainably designed so that none of the economic interests of the farmers, the social interests of the community, or the environmental interests of endangered species and of the ecosystem are jeopardized. Interagency partnerships have been long established and will be maintained to focus on this project. Ideally, this wetlands restoration project will be used as a learning tool to demonstrate farming in harmony with sensitive habitats so that regulators can advance similar projects within the region and abroad.



Training Programs

Habitat Restoration and Water Quality Practices
CTP Water Quality and Wetland Habitat Advisory Meeting Aug 4, 2011
Analytical Frameworks for Wetland and Riparian Buffers in Agricultural Settings Oct 4, 2013

Documents and Publications

Annual Sediment Retention and Hydraulic Residence Time Variability in a Riverine Wetland...
Feb 02 11
Randy Halloway
CSUMB-Division of Science and Environmental Policy
Master of Science Presentation
Monterey County Staff Report
PDF, 241KB
Feb 02 11
Resource Management Agency, Monterey County
Resource Management Agency Monterey County
Oct 2010
Findings, Resolution, Conditions of Approval, Mitigation and Monitoring Program with the County
Quantifying Spatially-Explicit Change in Sediment Storage on an Emerging Floodplain and Wetland on Carneros Creek
PDF, 1.2MB
Feb 02 11
Ryan Bassett
Author's Capstone Project for CSUMB
May 12, 2010
This project is the first step in quantifying the mass, volume and spatial accumulation of sediment within a complex unregulated wetland and floodplain system.
c1.0-c3.4 Revised Civil Design Plans
ZIP, 1.5MB
Aug 11 09
Fall Creek Engineering
Fall Creek Engineering
Aug 11, 2009
Sheets c1.0-c3.4
c2.0,c3.4, c 4.0, c5.1 Revised Design Plans
ZIP, 6.9MB
Aug 11 09
Fall Creek Engineering
Fall Creek Engineering
Aug 11, 2009
Sheets with projects P and Q eliminated
c4.0-c5.1 Revised Design Plans
ZIP, 1.8MB
Aug 11 09
Fall Creek Engineering
Fall Creek Engineering
Aug 11, 2009
CEQA Notice of Determination for MND
PDF, 1.1MB
Feb 02 11
County of Monterey-RMA

October 13, 2010
Fact Sheet Pamphlet
DOC, 10.8MB
Mar 27 09
Stephen Low Alex Castro
ALBA- CSUMB Service Learners
March 2009
Map of Triple M Ranch in Elkhorn Slough Watershed
PDF, 320KB
Mar 25 09
Laurel Marcus & Associates
Triple M Ranch Land Management Plan
May 2003
Maps of Triple M Ranch in context in the Elkhorn Slough Watershed
ZIP, 2.6MB
Jun 21 11
D. Miller and J. Fodor Central Coast Wilds
Nov 2009