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.


First Annual Deschutes Urban Watershed and Capitol Lake Shoreline Community Clean Up Day
June 13, 2015 (Saturday) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
We are working to have the "First Annual Deschutes Urban Watershed and Capitol Lake Shoreline Community Clean Up Day" before Lake Fair and other major summer downtown events. We hope to include all lake & basin shorelines, with the lake lowered to access the shore trash; and include Percival Creek and the Deschutes River up to Pioneer Park. If we have enough volunteers we would like to include shorelines from Henderson Blvd to Priest Point Park as well.

Teams will be assigned specific areas of shoreline for clean-up. DES will lower the water level in Capitol Lake to expose the accumulated debris for removal and oversee the proper disposal of the debris.

For More Information or to sign up as a sponsor or help individually, contact us:
To be a sponsor, organize a team of at least three volunteers that represent your organization and be assigned a "clean-up zone" OR consider donations to be reserved for the costs of clean up and associated community promotion and education. A task force that includes the broader community is being established to plan the Clean-Up Day.

Sponsors: (so far)
Olympia Downtown Association, Thurston County Chamber, Pacific Shellfish Institute, CLIPA, & tentatively Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT)
The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES), as the responsible State agency for Capitol Lake, will be assisting.

CLIPA plans to make this an annual event to "improve and protect" our urban waterfront and shared ecosystem for use and enjoyment by current and future generations of our families.


Community, Private & Public Partnership
April 2015 - CLIPA and other organizations take initial steps to work together to make Capitol Lake and the Deschutes Basin work for the entire community. Read More...
Maintenance Dredge Status: CLIPA continues to ask our Legislators and Congressional Representatives to consider increasing the 2015 Legislative Appropriation 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 cooperative groups.
Capitol Lake Needs Your Help! August 2014
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
Successful Community Meetings - June & July 2014
CLIPA sponsored public discussions about the future of the Deschutes Urban Watershed and Capitol Lake were attended by many elected officials and representatives as well as members of the community. More info from the meetings ...

Recent Opinions in the Olympian

Take a moment to read very different views of the "facts" about Capitol Lake
Lake advocates have a different point of view - By David H. Milne - September 4, 2014
Lake reflects our inability to make hard choices - By John Rosenberg - August 25, 2014
Then see Dr. Milne's analysis of the Department of Ecology "TMDL Report" about Capitol Lake.

New Articles, Publications & Reports

Coming Soon: CLIPA researchers are looking for the facts about the New Zealand Mud Snail
  • Are these snails found in many bodies of water, but are a problem ONLY if they are in Capitol Lake?
  • Do native fish, such as sculpins and native crayfish (a.k.a. crawfish or crawdads), consume New Zealand Mud Snails? Are there crayfish in Capitol Lake?
  • Are these snails just a nuisance or is this a crisis?
  • Is it true that for each study that declares the snail as harmful, there is a contrasting study that says not harmful?

Deschutes Watershed District Map of the Deschutes Watershed District - with descriptions of community focus areas, amenities & possible projects read article

Ruckelshaus Center Report
This December 2014 objective review identified some of the reasons why the community and the State have been unable to advance a community endorsed Plan for the long term management of Capitol Lake and the Deschutes River Urban Watershed. The Report provides insight on the challenges, and also some next steps forward. (read more)

Capitol Lake: Protector of Water Qualty in Budd Inlet
A review by Dr. David H. Milne of the Wa. State Dept. of Ecology document "TMDL Tech Report (2012)". The conclusion of this review is that Capitol Lake is the Deschutes River Watershed's biggest and best asset for preventing and reducing water quality degradation in Budd Inlet. (March 2014) Summary & Peer Reviews - Slide Show Presentation - PDFs of Full Report & Addl Info

Letter from Justice Robert Utter to various elected officials and public entities. (April 2014)
"I unqualifiedly support the retention and management of Capitol Lake as beneficial to the water quality of Budd Inlet."

Updated Report

Subsequent to the original 2012 paper, events have occurred that affect the amount of cost to be estimated and the time frame in which the costs would be incurred.   Read the update . . .

Featured Article

Capitol Lake is #1 of the 7 Wonders of Thurston County, according to popular vote.

In this video, Thurston County Commissioner Cathy Wolfe and State Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander discuss the Lake and its' merits for the community.

This is a 9 minute clip from the TCTV Video, courtesy of Thurston County Connection TCTV Videos, Producer John Tennis

Thurston County Connection - Full video 46 min.

The Seven Wonders of Thurston County

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

Information, Reports & Reviews

The CLIPA White Paper is a realistic, practical & science based plan to improve the water quality & sediment management in the Deschutes Watershed, while preserving one of our state's icons, Capitol Lake.

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

Get Involved !

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

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