Summer 2019 Update

July 15, 2019


Work continues on the technical analyses that will form the foundation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary Long-Term Management Project. Fieldwork to obtain necessary data that will inform many aspects of the EIS analysis has begun, including monthly water quality sampling, which started in May.

A bathymetric survey to provide information on the depth and shape of the underwater landscape will be conducted beginning Monday, July 15. It will take several days to complete. This survey, equivalent to topography on land, will help the team evaluate how much, how quickly, and where sediment is accumulating when compared to earlier surveys.

The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (Enterprise Services) is coordinating this work closely with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). Ecology is currently overseeing a spill cleanup in the area, including portions of Capitol Lake.

A survey skiff floating against a sandy shoreline.

A survey skiff (sample above) will be used to conduct bathymetric surveys.


This summer, the EIS Project Team will be in the parks in and around Capitol Lake collecting information through a park user survey to better understand recreational use within the project area. We'll be using the data we collect through this survey to help inform our recreational analysis as a part of the EIS.

Look for members of the EIS Project Team throughout the summer and at Capital Lakefair to share your feedback!


Enterprise Services is committed to ensuring the technical analyses informing the EIS are conducted using industry-recognized best practices and include a reasonable level of analysis to allow for the comparison of alternatives. Although not required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Enterprise Services engaged independent third-party experts to objectively review the proposed methodologies for three technical disciplines: water resources, hydrodynamic and sediment transport, and economics. These disciplines were selected based on feedback received during scoping, the complexity of these analyses, and their particular importance to the evaluation of the alternatives.

These methodologies will be available to the public after the third-party review. Although not typical for a SEPA process, Enterprise Services is electing to share these methodologies in the interest of transparency. The review of the Water Resources Methodology was recently completed and the methodology is available online. The remaining methodologies are expected to be published in August. For more information, please review Enterprise Services’ document describing the third-party review process.