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

Capitol Lake Improvements are Needed NOW - CLIPA's Proposal

CLIPA Update – March 1, 2013

Capitol LakeCLIPA, the Capitol Lake Improvement and Protection Association, is continuing to work with our congressional, legislative, state agency, local governmental and community leaders to implement the most cost effective and environmentally sound approach to managing Capitol Lake for all community and State objectives. A BIG task, but one where good progress is being made. Here is an update as to what is being done now and what CLIPA is supporting as a pro active community project for the benefit of the people of the State of Washington.

In 2011, the State Legislature appropriated $200,000 to start the process leading to a "Maintenance Dredge of Capitol Lake" as soon as permits can be obtained. This project was strongly supported by our local legislative leaders, CLIPA and others, with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) given the task to complete the initial work. This Maintenance Dredge will be the first step since 1986 that the State has taken to remove some of the 35,000 cubic yards of sediment that comes down the Deschutes River every year and ends up either in Capitol Lake or in the area from the 4th Avenue Bridge/and dam to the tip of the Port of Olympia peninsula.

Capitol Lake partially drained 2009This is why Capitol Lake is now full of sediment and according to State studies, up to six feet of sediment is now building up over the next few years in lower Budd Inlet. If the state and the community do not implement a maintenance program soon, many efforts will be compromised. These include the now planned maintenance dredging of Percival Landing by the City of Olympia, the $1.0 million plus dredging project by the Olympia Yacht Club later this year, and the multi-million dollar Turning Basin Dredge Project by the Port of Olympia now being planned. These will be only temporary measures before the community loses the entire Capitol Lake and Lower Budd Inlet to a future tidal mud flat where boating as we now know it will no longer be possible and the design of the State Capitol Campus will be destroyed.

CLIPA believes that a true Managed Lake Approach is the only environmentally sound, cost effective and community based alternative that the citizens of Thurston County and the state will accept. To delay this project any longer, will increase the eventual cost of dredging both Capitol Lake and the marine waters of Lower Budd Inlet.


1) CLIPA believes that DES should obtain the necessary Corps of Engineers Maintenance Dredging Permits and related approvals in 2013, with maintenance work beginning in 2014. CLIPA offers its extensive level of professional resources and cross section of community leaders to address and resolve conflicting issues.

2) CLIPA believes that Thurston County should take the lead to reactivate the Deschutes Watershed Management program, form a formal Management Board to guide the ongoing program for the entire watershed, and set up a funding assessment program that involves all of the property owners that are contributing to and benefiting from a healthy watershed, including Capitol Lake and lower Budd Inlet. CLIPA offers its network of community members and professional skills to support the watershed management needs and to organize the assessment program required to support a long term funding strategy.

3) CLIPA believes that there is currently available information for intelligent and informed decision making on the advancement of a sound Managed Lake Approach, but that confusion and single purpose agendas continue to delay responsible watershed and Lake management. CLIPA welcomes an open forum and a community process to implement the steps leading to an environmentally sound management program. CLIPA offers to join with state, tribal and local government leaders to develop a plan of action that will address the current problems of a failed watershed and Lake Management program, with the objective of having in place by early 2014 a Deschutes Watershed, Capitol Lake and Lower Budd Inlet Water Quality and Community Use Management Program that is funded and guided by a representative community based management board.

Capitol Lake Improvements are Needed NOW

Implement the most cost effective and environmentally sound approach to managing Capitol Lake.
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