Capitol Lake Improvement & Protection Association 'CLIPA'
Capitol Lake
Save the Lake Preserve the Past Improve the Future
Capitol Lake
Capitol Lake Improvement & Protection Association 'CLIPA'
Save the Lake Preserve the Past Improve the Future

Save Capitol Lake !

We are a coalition of citizens working to improve, maintain and preserve Capitol Lake, the Number One "Jewel of Thurston County". Improving Capitol Lake requires a watershed-wide sustainable solution that is in line with the original lake vision as well as current and future needs.

News and New Documents or Articles

Re-contaminating Capitol Lake

Re-contaminating Capitol Lake Read the CLIPA Document- March 2022

CLIPA's Response to the Draft EIS

CLIPA's Response to the Draft EIS Read the CLIPA Document- March 2022

DES CSB Nov 2019

CLIPA's Requested Clarification and Expansion of the three November 2019 State Draft EIS Alternatives for the future designs and management strategies for the future of Capitol Lake. Clarification is needed for informed public comment and environmental/technical evaluation in the Draft EIS. Read the CLIPA Document- December 2019

NZMS Stockton

A new national NZMS expert reports on the management options of the NZMS in Capital Lake and suggests its immediate opening. The report also presents the previously ignored history of the NZMS in the Western USA and Western Washington. Read the CLIPA Document- December 2019

Position Statement

Publicly funded studies suggest that Capitol Lake provides Chinook habitat at least the equal to that of an estuary-river system. Read the CLIPA Document- December 2019

Budd Bay Contamination

The Seminal Washington state report on our ESA threatened Southern Resident Orca Whales and Chinook salmon which reveal the serious risks associated with the opening of the Capital Lake Basin to the Budd Inlet legacy and ongoing pollution. Read the CLIPA Document- December 2019

Introduction to Hybrid Waterfront Management Plan

Get engaged in the development of the State ⁄ DES produced Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to select a new long-term Community Plan for our Deschutes Urban Watershed and Capitol Lake. Read the CLIPA Document- July 2018

Hybrid/Split Lake with Restored Estuary and Waterfront Plan

This plan provides specific benefits and advantages to the Community and Environment when compared to other alternatives being considered. Through compromise and creativity, it provides a remarkable system which balances the values and needs of our environment and the vast majority in our community. Read the CLIPA Document- July 2018

Review of Supplemental Modeling Scenario Report

The Washington Department of Ecology’s Report, “Supplementary Modeling Scenarios” purports to demonstrate that Capitol Lake has a negative effect on Puget Sound. That Report presents outputs of a complex computer simulation, the “Budd Inlet Model,” that are said to support the authors’ claims. That is not the case. In fact data in that report supports the view that Capitol Lake’s effects on Puget Sound are actually beneficial. Summary, Outline, and Chapter or Full Report PDFs Dr. David H. Milne, PhD - July 2018

Map of the proposed Hybrid Waterfront Management Plan

Key new community projects and existing sources of contamination are super-imposed on an actual photo of the Urban Watershed. View the Map PDF 1pg 1mb 11x17 CLIPA and Thurston GeoData Map 2018

Unresolved Issues

About those pesky Mud Snails: February 2017
State officials agree that the New Zealand Mud Snail thrives in brackish water, so removing the dam will not get rid of the snail and they could spread into Budd Inlet with no dam.
Maintenance Dredge Status: August 2016
CLIPA continues to ask our Legislators and Congressional Representatives to have a "maintenance dredge application" completed as soon as possible, to allow a maintenance dredge to reduce the current sediment carry over into Budd Inlet. Such dredging is common with all alternatives that are seriously discussed by the diverse groups.
Capitol Lake STILL Needs Your Help! August 2016
Contact your elected leadership. We need to be a vocal majority, not silent and overruled by a vocal and ill-informed minority of residents. Links to committees & elected rep's

Documents & Reports

See our Reports Overview for a list of documents
Don't know where to begin? Try these:

Featured Article

Get Involved !

Go to our Membership Page for our membership form, or printable brochure. Sign up for our occasional E-Newsletters to keep Capitol Lake on your radar.

Now is the time to make the decision

Reflecting Lake
Capitol Lake Modern Aerial View
Tidal Basin
Capitol Lake 1944 Aerial view

Visit our Gallery for more views of Capitol Lake Through the Years

Capitol Lake:

  • is a part of the State Capitol Campus
  • was envisioned in the original design of the campus
  • has not been dredged since 1986, contributing to algae bloom
  • makes a positive contribution to the environment
  • significantly helps the water quality of Budd Inlet
  • significantly helps in flood control
    – protecting downtown Olympia
  • supports the annual (non-native) salmon run to the man-made fish ladders at Tumwater Falls

Removing the Dam:

  • would result in tidal mudflats like Mud Bay – NOT like the Nisqually
  • would result in approximately $157 million in infrastructure costs
  • would increase sediment & nitrogen flow into Budd Inlet
  • would degrade state and local waterfront investments of $84 million
  • would significantly increase costs to the Port of Olympia
  • would damage recreational boating that contributes $23 million in annual economic benefits to the community

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