Spring 2020 Update

April 1, 2020


The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Project Team is excited to share that the Legislature has committed to fully funding the EIS in the 2020 Supplemental and 2021–23 Capital Budgets. This means the project is moving forward, and the Draft EIS is scheduled to be issued in summer 2021. The Final EIS is expected to be issued in 2022.

Project timeline including Phase 1: Planning, Phase 2: Environmental Impact Statement, and Phase 3: Implementation. Public comment periods occur in Late 2018 during scoping and 2020 following release of the Draft EIS.
Current project schedule.

The EIS Project Team is busy conducting the range of technical analyses that will be summarized in the Draft EIS and will inform future selection of a preferred alternative for the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary.


In response to Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” and current COVID-19 guidance, Enterprise Services is postponing the Work Group and Community Sounding Board meetings previously scheduled for April. While we hope to meet in person soon, we are also preparing for possible web meetings if needed.

Please stay tuned for more information about new dates. The EIS Project Team looks forward to reconvening Work Groups when it is safe to do so. Presentations, materials, and summaries for all past meetings are available on the meetings page.

This change does not impact development of the EIS or overall project schedule.

Please note, the EIS Project Team is following all state guidance related to Governor Inslee’s order in the interest of the health and safety of the team and the public.


The EIS Project Team completed the bathymetric survey in January, and the data are now providing critical information on the depth and shape of the underwater landscape. These data serve as a key input to the numerical modeling of hydrodynamics (the forces acting on or exerted by water within the basin), and sediment transport. This modeling allows the team to evaluate how much, how quickly, and where sediment may accumulate, as well as how water may move through the system under each alternative. A number of technical analyses rely on the numerical modeling, and these analyses are now underway.

More recently, you may have noticed work in Capitol Lake as the team collected sediment samples in the Middle and North Basins. The sampling vessel was launched by a crane into the North Basin. The collected samples will be analyzed for chemical quality and sediment type, allowing the EIS Project Team to evaluate potential impacts and/or benefits to environmental health from the project. Completing this sediment sampling concludes the fieldwork needed to evaluate long-term management alternatives as part of the Draft EIS.

Retrieving sediment samples aboard the sampling vessel on Capitol Lake.