Floyd|Snider Leads EIS Project Team to Draft EIS Public Comment

A view of the North Basin of Capitol Lake

On June 30, 2021, the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary Long-Term Management Project hit a milestone—the issuance of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public comment. The EIS Project Team is led by Floyd|Snider, with key teaming partner Environmental Science Associates (ESA), as well as Moffatt & Nichol, Herrera Environmental Consultants, ECONorthwest, EnviroIssues, Ross Strategic, Heffron Transportation, and Ramboll. They have spent more than 2 years completing a wide range of technical analyses, and engaging with stakeholders to develop a document that provides an objective summary of the environmental benefits and impacts associated with long-term management of the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary. The Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary includes the 260-acre waterbody located on the Washington State Capitol Campus, adjacent to downtown Olympia, at the base of Puget Sound. It was created in 1951 when a dam was constructed at the mouth of the Deschutes River, transforming a vast estuary into a freshwater lake.

There are two general approaches for management of the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary: keep the dam that has created a freshwater lake or remove the dam and restore tidal estuarine conditions. Three long-term management alternatives are evaluated in the Draft EIS: a Managed Lake, Estuary, and Hybrid Alternative. The Floyd|Snider Team has developed a decision-making process that is expected to move this project from a decades-long stalemate to selection of a preferred alternative and identification of a funding and governance approach for construction and long-term management.

To learn more about this project and the work performed to date, visit