Thanks to Andy Hobbs for continuing to follow the Capitol Lake/Estuary debate in his Jan. 24 article. Based on my take as a local boater and customer of downtown Olympia’s business district I wanted to expand on a couple points of his fine article.
The article states one of the options is a “managed lake similar to today’s”. Capitol Lake looks like it does today, which is to say shallow, unsightly and sometimes filled with weeds, because silt from the Deschutes has accumulated for 30+ years since the last maintenance dredge in 1986. Were Capitol Lake properly managed through periodic maintenance dredging it would look nothing like today’s shallow unkempt lake. Instead there would be an attractive lake deep enough to support recreational small boat use with kayaks, paddleboards or dinghies that could be used for sailing lessons for young kids. Swimming beaches removed in the 1970s or ’80s could be reintroduced as today’s Capitol Lake is clean and one of the healthiest lakes in Thurston County. Olympia’s downtown would feature an inviting, contiguous set of public spaces & parks stretching from Capitol Lake to Heritage Park and Percival Landing.
I also understand Capitol Lake offers Olympia vital flood control options and keeps nitrates in the nitrate rich Deschutes River from entering Puget Sound. Clearly, a properly managed Capitol Lake offers a lot to Olympia’s residents, visitors and environment.