September 16, 2020


The EIS Project Team continues work on the technical analyses that will be summarized in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and inform selection of a preferred alternative for the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary. Enterprise Services plans to issue a Draft EIS in summer 2021, and the Final EIS with a preferred alternative is expected 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 2021 following release of the Draft EIS
Current project schedule.


Enterprise Services will evaluate Managed Lake, Estuary, Hybrid and No Action alternatives in the EIS. The "No Action Alternative" is required by state law and will provide the baseline for which to compare the other three alternatives, sometimes called "Action" alternatives. A measurable evaluation process was used to identify components of the alternatives that best meet project goals.

Four project goals include improve water quality, improve ecological functions, manage sediment accumulation and future deposition, and enhance community use of the resource
Four projects goals were identified by stakeholders and Enterprise Services in Phase 1 of the project.

Components of the alternatives may be modified, changed, or replaced throughout preparation of the Draft EIS as we learn more from the technical analysis. More information about the project alternatives is available on the project website.


Throughout the remainder of 2020 and into early 2021, the EIS Project Team will be fully focused on technical analysis, with a range of tasks, such as:

  • Developing and running a computer model to evaluate how water and sediment would move under each alternative
  • Developing visual simulations to evaluate how the landscape would change under each alternative
  • Reviewing existing data and data collected by the project to evaluate water quality and potential management approaches
  • Reviewing information provided by the Port of Olympia and marinas to evaluate potential navigation impacts and avoidance measures


In response to community requests, and understanding the project’s complex history, Enterprise Services augmented the typical community engagement process to improve transparency and obtain additional focused input. Beyond soliciting formal public comments and hosting a public meeting during the scoping period (consistent with state guidelines for a typical EIS), Enterprise Services also convened three work groups and a Community Sounding Board (CSB). To date, this includes over 25 meetings in total across the work groups and CSB.

In June, the EIS Project Team met virtually with the Executive, Technical, and Funding and Governance Work Groups, and Community Sounding Board. The Funding and Governance Work Group met once more in August. Topics at the meetings included reviewing methodologies for the EIS technical analyses, recreation assumptions for the project alternatives, and more. You can review the summaries from the June series on the meetings page of our website. You can also watch the video recording of the Executive Work Group session. Thanks to the work groups for their continued engagement and input provided throughout the process.