Thursday, September 13, 2018

Olympia Sea Level Rise Open House

Above:  Due to its location on Budd Inlet, downtown Olympia will flood more often as sea levels rise. Draft sea level rise adaptation strategies will be on display at an upcoming open house. City staff will be in attendance to answer questions.

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

Olympia city staff will host an open house and community meeting about sea level rise response planning for downtown Olympia.

The event will be September 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., LOTT Clean Water Alliance, 500 Adams St NE, Olympia.

The City of Olympia, Port of Olympia, and LOTT Clean Water Alliance are working together to develop a sea level rise response plan to help protect downtown assets, services, and critical infrastructure.

The meeting will include presentations on the planning effort and potential adaptation strategies. It will also offer an opportunity for public feedback on draft adaptation strategies.

The city is planning for sea level rise of 24 inches, or two feet, by mid-century and 68 inches, or 5.7 feet, by the end of the century.

A variety of potential adaptation strategies have been identified, including permanent flood protection such as elevated paths, new sea walls, and higher existing sea walls.

Temporary flood protection includes sandbagging, sealed street grates, and flood gates. 

Other options include living with water, creating living shorelines, elevated structures, and allowing landscapes to flood.

Key areas of concern include the Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, the isthmus and Percival Landing, Capitol Lake and the Port of Olympia marine terminal area.

Throughout the month of September, the city is featuring informational displays on Percival Landing about sea level rise in downtown Olympia.  

Above: Eric Christensen, City of Olympia Public Works, indicates the area where the city will protect downtown from sea level rise using a combination of strategies such as flood gates and raised walls and planter boxes.

Elected Officials Meeting

To discuss sea level rise response planning, a joint meeting of the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Board of Directors, Port of Olympia Commission, and Olympia City Council will be held September 17, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., LOTT Clean Water Alliance.

Community members are welcome to attend and observe. Public comment at this meeting will be limited to written form.

For more information about City of Olympia sea level rise planning and previous community meetings, downtown flooding issues, high tides, combined sewer and storm water systems, go to Little Hollywood, and type key words into the search button.

For more information from the City of Olympia about sea level rise response planning, go to or email