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1 The Status of Capitol Lake Planning Washington State Capitol Committee October 12, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Status of Capitol Lake Planning Washington State Capitol Committee October 12, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Status of Capitol Lake Planning Washington State Capitol Committee October 12, 2010

2 : U.S. Coast Survey Department of the Navy 1911: State Capitol Commission Hires Olmsted Brothers and Wilder and White. 1912: Olmsteds write to Gov. Hay suggesting improvements to the inner harbor which “may be accomplished from time to time as opportunity arises”. CAPITOL LAKE Setting the Context

3 : Correspondence from Wilder & White to the Capitol Committee: “Improvement of the water front…has been given very little study on the Olmsted Plan and we believe it would be unfortunate to leave it at this stage.” CAPITOL LAKE Setting the Context 3 Wilder & White - undated 1937: The Legislature appropriated $150,000 to create Capitol Lake. The “Des Chutes Water Basin” project would acquire land, construct a parkway, and dam the river. The affected area would become part of the capitol campus.

4 : Project completed. Since 1951 more than 2,000,000 cubic yards have accumulated in the basin. Maintenance dredges have not removed sediment, but simply changed the lake’s shape. 1995: GA prepared proposal for a maintenance dredge. 1997: Dredge proposal withdrawn and CLAMP Committee formed to advise GA on management of the basin. CAPITOL LAKE Setting the Context TRPC

5 55 CLAMP Process 2003 through 2009: Estuary Feasibility Studies  Conceptual Model of Estuarine Process  Reference Estuary Survey  Bathymetric Study  Hydraulic &Sediment Transport Model  Biological Conditions Report  Design and Preliminary Cost Estimates  Net Benefit Analysis  Community Focus Group  Independent Technical Review  Dam Structural Report  Dam Condition Assessment  Erodability Assessment & Modeling  Sea Level Rise Impacts  Cultural and Spiritual Values Report  Dredge Design and Cost Estimate  Hydraulic Modeling Report  Low-lying Infrastructure Report  Comparative Fish & Wildlife Report  Community Focus Group  Community Economic Values Report  Public Involvement Summary  Alternatives Analysis Report 1997 through 2002: Capitol Lake Planning Studies  Environmental Impact Study  Aquatic Weed Management Plan  10-year Lake Management Plan  Community Involvement

6 66 CLAMP Recommendations A “comprehensive estuary recommendation” including:  Restoring an estuary,  Cleaning up Budd Inlet,  Addressing upstream concerns, and  Revising governance of the basin. Common Outcomes Sought by All CLAMP Members  Develop an implementation plan which recognizes: a.the context of the lake within its larger watershed, b.the need for long-term solutions which are economically durable, and c.community interests.  Protect Deschutes River fish passage.  Develop a cost sharing structure for all beneficiaries.  Develop a sediment management strategy.  Identify potential funding opportunities.

7 77 Community Reactions 2010: Capitol Lake Improvement and Protection Assn. (CLIPA)  Issues white paper  Dredging is needed to address environmental and other damages  Continued use of the lake as a sediment trap is the most cost-effective and environmentally sensitive approach  Lack of dredging is damaging downstream interests  Effective upstream water quality actions are needed  Honors Wilder & White plans and state investments to date 2010: Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT)  Issues open letter  Retaining the existing impoundment is a public policy contradiction  65% of restoration costs could come from federal sources  Management of the ecosystem should be passed to a state natural resource management agency

8 88 Technical Considerations Managed Lake  Little change in infrastructure.  The operation of the dam provides greater protection against the initial effects of sea-level rise on downtown flood risk.  A large initial dredge is required in addition to regular maintenance dredging. Dredging inside the lake is more difficult than in Budd Inlet. Estuary  Initial and maintenance dredging are lessened; most sediment is moved to the shoreline, reducing costs and permitting complexity.  Significant infrastructure is required early in implementation (including building a new 5th Avenue bridge and reinforcement of Deschutes Parkway) Dual Basin Estuary  In addition to estuary alternative considerations, constructing a north basin barrier involves engineering and environmental uncertainties.

9 99 Economic Considerations Managed Lake  Relatively little infrastructure cost. Preserves benefits for downstream marine interests.  More dredging is required, initially and with regular maintenance dredging into the future. Unit costs are higher. Estuary  Initial dredging and maintenance dredging quantities and unit costs are lower.  Significant infrastructure expenditure is required early. Dual Basin Estuary  Same as estuary, except added cost of north basin barrier.

10 10 Environmental Considerations Managed Lake  Supports insects as food source for foraging birds and bats.  Supports several invasive and non-native species, including exotic amphibians and mammals.  Dam increases risk of predation for migrating salmon.  Is expected to make efforts to improve water quality in Budd Inlet more difficult. Estuary and Dual Basin Estuary  Increased tidal flushing is expected to improve water quality in Budd Inlet.  Would improve habitat for anadromous and marine fish.  Would restore 260 acres of an ecosystem type that has been significantly reduced throughout Puget Sound.  Loss of nearly all habitat used by freshwater species. Reduced forage insects for bats and some birds. Potential for all 16 lake-dependent freshwater fish to be eliminated.

11 11 Concurrent Activities Deschutes Water Quality Planning  Federal Clean Water Act requires states to clean up water bodies that don’t meet standards.  Ecology has recently completed an assessment (TMDL) of Deschutes watershed water quality problems.  Ecology has embarked on a multi- year community process for the selection and implementation of appropriate control measures.  The Capitol Lake management decision may affect, and be affected by, control decisions in the TMDL process. Puget Sound Cleanup  Puget Sound Partnership views the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) as the “nearshore component” of their Action Agenda.  PSNERP was initiated in 2001 to identify nearshore ecosystem problems and solutions.  PSNERP process may result in significant federal funding for projects to restore Puget Sound.  WDFW and USACE have identified Deschutes estuary restoration as one of 46 candidates for nearshore investment.

12 12 Next Steps  The State Capitol Committee and Legislature still must act before any long- term management strategy can begin.  Permitting for such a strategy is projected to take four to six years and involve more than 20 different federal, state, local, and tribal authorities.  GA is requesting funding in to begin the process of seeking a permit to conduct a limited dredge of Capitol Lake for flood risk mitigation purposes


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