• Helicopter to make low-level flights over Northern Salinas Valley

    Beginning May 14, 2017, residents of Marina, Neponset, Castroville, Moss
    Landing, Blanco, and Salinas, may see a low-flying helicopter towing a
    large hexagonal frame. This unique equipment is part of a project to map
    groundwater aquifers and subsurface geology in the area.

    Lasting up to 5 days (unless delayed by weather), instruments mounted
    below the helicopter will collect and record measurements to learn more
    about buried sand and gravel aquifers. Marina Coast Water District,
    working with Aqua Geo Frameworks and researchers from Stanford’s
    Department of Geophysics have planned the flights to improve
    understanding of the available groundwater resources. This technology
    allows for more complete data acquisition from the air, upwards of 50 to
    75 miles per hour, with exploration depths down to at least 900 feet
    below the land surface. Aqua Geo Frameworks and Stanford researchers
    will process the data and information, and produce a final report.

    The Marina Coast Water District has commissioned this study to better
    understand and manage the groundwater basins that supply its customers.
    The data generated from the study will provide a far more comprehensive
    and clear understanding of the degree to which sea water has or hasn’t
    intruded into basins allowing the District to manage its resources based
    on the best available scientific data. It is expected the study will
    fill key gaps in data, provide a far more accurate picture of the
    quality of the groundwater, and prepare the District with the necessary
    information to include in a Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

    Sinton Helicopters, based out of Paso Robles, California, will oversee
    the flights. The helicopter will fly lines over a flight path designed
    to get the best available data from the subsurface. Scientific
    equipment, towed about 100 feet above the ground surface, hangs about
    100 feet below the helicopter in a ’spider web’ array and is
    designed to map geologic structures beneath the ground. The helicopter
    will be manned by very experienced pilots who are specially trained for
    low-level flying with this equipment. The helicopter company operates
    under FAA unlimited part 135 unscheduled air-taxi operations, part 133
    a,b,c and d external loads, and part 137 agriculture dispersal.

    MCWD provides high quality water, waste water and recycled water
    services to more than 30,000 customers in the Monterey Peninsula
    communities of the City of Marina and the Ord Community through
    management, conservation, and development of future sources while at
    reasonable costs. The District is governed by a five-member board of
    directors who are elected by voters.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 19, 2017

    Topics: Front PG News, Uncategorized


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