Mudflat advocates are ill-informed on impact

OlympiaAugust 9, 2013 

When made aware of the (Capitol Lake Adaptive Management Plan) recommendations, I was sure that it was a mistaken message. After review of the state studies, I believe that most of the intertidal mudflat advocates are ill-informed of the negative impacts the proposal would have on the community.

In the May 2012 Report by Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project, critical facts are made clear. The CLAMP project would open a new 500-foot channel that may require demolition of the Bayview Market. About $140 million in unneeded new infrastructure would be required. This cost does not include proposed dredging of 400,000 cubic yards of sediment from Capitol Lake or the cost to maintain the recreational boating channels to Percival Landing.

The report identifies an initial cost of over $200 million with no plan as to who would pay for it. It does not address the negative impact on the downtown Olympia business economy. There is much more that the proponents of the tidal mudflat are not saying.

This silence about the publicly funded report from our elected officials is bothersome. The continuing neglect of the sediment in Capitol Lake and lower Budd Inlet will result in major new costs to Thurston County taxpayers. As currently proposed by CLAMP, the downtown waterfront will look like Mudd Bay and the area near Swantown when the tide is out. The planned waterfront improvements will be surrounded by mud with only the taxpayer to pay for them if responsible leadership is not provided soon.

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