The discussion about what to do with Capitol Lake has been getting increased attention lately. But the problem is that the opposing sides (lake vs. estuary) just keep moving further apart. Consensus is not on the horizon of any immediate future. And that’s what I don’t get, why the two groups can’t reach a common ground that will give each side an awful lot of what they both want.
As I’ve said many times before, just build a wall (dike) that will separate a freshwater lake from a saltwater estuary, and everybody will be happy. Have the wall complete the circle of the existing Heritage Park bulkhead for visual aesthetics. Then supply the lake with clean artesian groundwater inputs flowing from beneath Capitol Hill while the Deschutes River surface flows are isolated to the west side. To say such a wall couldn’t be built is to say the Fifth Avenue Dam doesn’t exist. Furthermore, this new wall would not have to be engineered to support vehicle loadings, but only the footsteps of pedestrians and pets.
And sure, this solution might not be cheap, but at least it would work. Plus, it would move everyone off the unflushed toilet the lake has now become with the present stalemate of doing nothing. Are there not at least two people, one from each side, who can come together and talk with intelligence and calm about a dual lake/estuary solution? What is the sense in continuing an unending fight rather than making a compromise?
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