Clint Eastwood and his first wife Maggie are donating a large piece of land to the Big Sur Land Trust to help create a flood plain and green belt.
Carmel’s best known resident announced the land donation Tuesday in his usual tongue-in-cheek style. “I’m Clint Eastwood, former Mayor of Carmel and former land owner. But as of today, I’m a little light on land,” said Eastwood at a press conference.
The 79 acres of land sits east of Highway 1 along the Carmel River. It’s just south of the Carmel River Bridge.
It will become part of a larger project that includes restoring the natural habitat and replacing a section of Highway 1 with a taller, longer bridge. A change that could potentially avert a major flood like one that occurred in the mid 1990’s.
“The flood waters will go across this land and out to sea without taking out folks in the neighborhood,” said Eastwood.
Once the project is complete the land will be open to the public. A trail stretching from Carmel River State Beach to Palo Corona Regional Park will give people access to thousands of acres of open space.
“This is the gateway to Big Sur. The most scenic piece of highway in California. I can think of nothing better than if you enter that experience to pass through a native wetland fully restored,” said Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter.
The $25 million project will be paid for by the Big Sur Land Trust. If all goes as planned it will be completed by 2020.