CAPITOL LAKE – DESCHUTES ESTUARY LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT
The Department of Enterprise Services has released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary Long-Term Management Project.
The Estuary Alternative has been identified as the Preferred Alternative for long-term management of the waterbody.
Enterprise Services made this decision based on findings from 14 technical analyses that evaluated potential changes to the natural and built environment, through engagement with the Squaxin Island Tribe, local governments, and the community; and after review of more than 850 comments received on the Draft EIS was issued in the summer of 2021.
In the future, after design and permitting, the 5th Avenue Bridge and Dam would be removed to restore tidal exchange (a new bridge would be constructed with bicycle and pedestrian lanes). Tidal flats would be the predominant habitat type, with approximately 85 acres of marsh habitat constructed along the shoreline. This would improve ecological conditions in the project area. The restored estuary is the only alternative that can achieve state water quality standards. Boating would be restored in the Capitol Lake Basin, and boating in West Bay would be maintained through recurring maintenance dredging.
The EIS provides an objective summary of long-term management alternatives, the impacts and benefits of the alternatives over a 30-year time horizon, impacts during construction, potential mitigation measures, and additional information to support the decision-making process, like planning-level costs.
The Final EIS and supporting materials are available in the project library for download.
TIMELINE FOR LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT PLANNING
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Please join our email list to receive updates on long-term management of the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary. Enterprise Services intends to request funding from the Washington State Legislature in the 2023–2025 biennium for funding for the next project phase.
For questions about the project please email info@CapitolLakeDeschutesEstuaryEIS.org.