Sheesh. Another letter to the editor disparaging “… a former Evergreen professor [that’s me] who refuses to accept science and reason.” How ironic. It is my knowledge of marine ecology, invasive species, computer modeling and other sciences that enables me to analyze the Lake/Estuary question.
The writers are angered by my opinion that Capitol Lake does no damage to Budd Inlet (and indeed actually improves water quality there) and dispute that message by attacking the messenger. I see no science that shows that Capitol Lake damages Puget Sound. The most oft-mentioned “proof” is the output of a computer model developed by the Department of Ecology. The model blames Capitol Lake for something (localized low oxygen levels in late summer) that occurs naturally in most estuaries – including Eld Inlet, with no dam and no urbanization.
I’ve studied that model carefully for a year and I find the claims based on it unsupportable. The model just plain lacks the pinpoint accuracy needed to find the microscopic, short-lived water quality “violations” that DOE aggressively asserts.
Never mentioned by DOE is that the Lake prevents oxygen depletion in Budd Inlet’s deep water by removing nutrients from the Deschutes River. Other studies likewise neglect to mention environmental benefits provided by the lake, including habitat for native freshwater species now pressured by human activities.
Attacks on public-spirited citizens who try to balance the Lake/Estuary discussion are counter-productive. Instead, letter writers should argue for their views, not disparage persons who advocate opposite views.
David H. Milne