In response to Rep. Sam Hunt’s and Sec. of State Sam Reed’s letters (background info below) to the Army Corps of Engineers requesting that Capitol Lake be excluded from Estuary restoration efforts DERT wrote their own letter to the Army Corps clarifying our concerns. DERT will have more detailed information on this matter soon but in the meantime here’s the preliminary response DERT President Sue Patnude made about the reply we received from the Army Corps:
“Yesterday I received a packet with letters from the Corps responding to our letter (Hunt/Reed) on the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Process that includes the Deschutes River Estuary as a potential project.
The letter basically describes the process (PSNERP) and states the fact that “the Deschutes, like other Puget Sound Rivers has significantly impaired ecological services at its delta” and that “the study team is becoming increasingly aware of the potential ecological benefits to the Puget Sound by implementing restoration measures at river deltas, such as the Deschutes River.” Copies of response letters went to Capitol Lake Improvement and Protection Association (CLIPA), Hunt and Reed – as well as the Governor, WDFW, DNR, PSP, Ecology. It is a good letter with a positive scientific message. It also says that any kind of decision is about a year away.” –Sue Patnude
From Tacoma News Tribune article:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is under pressure from Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, and Secretary of State Sam Reed to remove the Deschutes River and Capitol Lake from a study of proposed estuary restoration projects in Puget Sound.
Two community groups, the Capitol Lake Improvement and Protection Association and Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team, have also weighed in, with CLIPA opposed to the Corps study and DERT in favor of it.
At this early stage of the study, which is looking at 44 possible areas in Puget Sound to restore estuary and nearshore habitat, the Corps is not interested in pulling the plug on the Deschutes study, according to Bernie Hargrave, project manager for the Corps’ role in Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Projects.
Hargrave said the Corps is committed to looking at all the proposed projects to see which ones should be advanced for further study of cost and environmental benefits.
“This is not a decision point,” he said, adding that sometime in December the Corps will pare down the list of possible projects for more review. Full-blown technical review of surviving projects is at least a year away, he said.
Read more of this article at Tacoma News Tribune here.