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1 Comment

  1. Dave Peeler

    Once again, the Dept. of Enterprise Services (DES) is looking at dredging Capitol Lake without undertaking a public process or developing a management plan. The last time it tried this, the state set off a decade-long review process. In 2009, the Capitol Lake Adaptive Management Plan Steering Committee (CLAMP) recommended the best and cheapest way to improve this important watershed: take out the 5th Avenue dam and restore the Deschutes River estuary.
    Since then the State has done nothing, and things have further deteriorated. The Deschutes watershed violates the Clean Water Act. Invasive species have closed the lake to the public. The dam severely degrades the watershed’s natural functions and contributes to poor conditions in Budd Inlet.
    Recent water quality studies reinforce restoration of a free-flowing estuary. With the dam in place, no amount of dredging in Capitol Lake will cause it to meet water quality standards. After millions of dollars spent, we are worse off than where we started. Besides the poorly conceived dredging proposal, there is no excuse for ignoring CLAMP recommendations.
    Damming the Deschutes River to create a combined bridge and lake addressed aesthetic values and transportation needs over 60 years ago. But there was no study and little understanding of the extreme harm it would cause to the ecosystem.
    The members of the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team and many others stand ready to assist in efforts to restore the State’s heritage of a free flowing, beautiful and productive estuary.

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