REMINDER – COMMENTS ARE BEING ACCEPTED THROUGH AUGUST 29

The extended Draft EIS comment period is coming to a close on August 29, 2021. Please submit your comments on or before Sunday to ensure they are considered for the Final EIS.

The Final EIS, which will identify a Preferred Alternative for long-term management of Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary, is expected in 2022, pending the volume and content of comments received. The EIS Project Team will review all comments received on the Draft EIS and evaluate whether additional technical analyses are required to ensure a complete evaluation. All comments will be documented in a comment response summary in the Final EIS.

Enterprise Services appreciates everyone’s attention to detail and commitment in helping to make sure the best possible body of information is available for informed decision-making.

HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENTS

Electronically

Via Mail

Department of Enterprise Services
Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary EIS
PO Box 41476
Olympia, Washington 98504-1476

WHAT ARE SUBSTANTIVE COMMENTS?

Comments that address a specific aspect of the project or the Draft EIS, rather than simply expressing a preference for or against the project alternatives, are most useful. Comments should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if the comments refer to chapters and pages of the Draft EIS.

Specific topics to consider in your comments on the Draft EIS include:

  • Comments on the information and analysis provided
  • Comments on key components of the alternatives
  • Comments on potential measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts
  • Any new or additional information that should be included
  • Any other considerations that should be included in the decision-making process

All comments submitted will be considered equally regardless of how they are submitted. Comments that are identical (e.g., form letters) or similar in nature will be treated as single comments.

DRAFT EIS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

If you haven’t already, take a look at our FAQs that address the most commonly asked questions during the briefings, meetings, and office hours, as well as those from emails and the public hearing. See below for excerpts.

What would happen to the 5th Avenue Bridge and trail/sidewalk?

Under the Managed Lake Alternative, the 5th Avenue Bridge would remain similar to today. For the Estuary and Hybrid Alternatives, the bridge, tide gate, and earthen dam would be removed, creating an approximately 500-foot-wide opening, and a new vehicular bridge would be constructed in its place.

For all action alternatives, an approximately 14-foot-wide elevated bridge would be constructed south of the 5th Avenue corridor. This would provide a connection between the existing pathways at Heritage Park to existing pathways along Deschutes Parkway for bikes and pedestrians. It would support the frequently used walking path and would improve circulation for bicycles through the Project Area.

See Chapter 2 for additional details.

How would invasive species be addressed? Will you be able to eradicate the New Zealand mudsnail? If not, how do you keep it from spreading?

Under all action alternatives, Capitol Lake would be treated before construction to significantly reduce aquatic invasive species populations within the waterbody. However, the New Zealand mudsnail would not be eradicated under any alternative. Decontamination stations would be installed to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by requiring recreationalists to decontaminate footwear, fishing gear, and nonmotorized vessels. Additionally, educational signs would be posted warning recreationalists of the presence of New Zealand mudsnails and other high-priority aquatic invasive species, and their potential to spread. Effective use of education and decontamination stations is considered necessary and has proven effective.

See Attachment 8: Aquatic Invasive Species Discipline Report for additional information.

Would a swimming beach be constructed?

No, but the project does not preclude or prohibit swimming. The swimming beach that existed in the North Basin of Capitol Lake from 1964 to 1985 was operated by the City of Olympia, not by the State of Washington. A governmental or agency partner could negotiate a lease to operate formal swimming facilities. Operating formal swimming facilities is not in alignment with the mission of Enterprise Services.

LEARN MORE

The Draft EIS provides a description of the long-term management alternatives and an impartial discussion of significant environmental impacts and benefits, as well as mitigation measures that would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance environmental quality. Neither short-term actions (e.g., dredging) nor a long-term management alternative (Managed Lake, Estuary, or Hybrid) can be implemented without an EIS.

The Draft EIS is available in the project library for download in full and by chapter. Printed copies of the Draft EIS are also available for public viewing at six locations.

THANK YOU!

Thank you for investing your time in reviewing this Draft EIS and to many of you who have already provided comments. If you have questions, email us at info@capitollakedeschutesestuaryeis.org or call (360) 407-9323.