Restoring the Estuary



In 1951 our community made a choice – a choice to destroy the Deschutes estuary and replace it with a reflecting lake created by the construction of the 5th Ave dam. Today we have learned hard lessons that destroying our local ecosystems not only harms wildlife but also degrades our local communities. Today we are fighting for a new vision based on the values of today – A vision of a restored estuary alongside a restored community with a vibrant local economy.

Vision for the future

Picture exploring Heritage Park and the restored estuary from brand new boardwalks as you take in a view filled with local wildlife. During high tide you would see an environment similar to Capitol Lake but one that is far more vibrant and filled with life. You might also catch a wave from your neighbor as they drift past you in their kayak or canoe. If you returned during low tide you would see a rich and transformed landscape. The Deschutes River would be flowing free through multiple channels surrounded by rich shorelines filled with wildlife. Instead of a stagnant and degraded lake that is steadily filling with sediment, is closed to the public, and that suffers from algae blooms, and low levels of dissolved oxygen you would see a healthy, vibrant and dynamic estuary that would draw people to visit our community while supporting a vast range of local wildlife.

Restoring the Deschutes estuary would result in a lasting symbol that would be held up as an example of what is possible when people come together to restore not only their local environment but also their own community. Instead of living with the mistakes of our past, our community could lead our region down a better path – one that recognizes that our community is stronger and healthier when we protect the ecosystems that support us. Olympia is the Capitol of our state and it is time for us to stop living in the past and lead by example – it is time for us to restore the Deschutes estuary.

To learn more about restoring the Deschutes River Estuary please watch the following video or check out the following pages:

Deschutes River Estuary Restoration Taking the Long View from SplatterPUSS Entertainment on Vimeo.