Bibliography on Vancouver Lake – Timeline

Bibliography on Vancouver Lake Watershed:

a history of restoration efforts for Vancouver Lake

(including Burnt Bridge Creek, Flushing Channel, Lake River, and Salmon Creek)

VLWP Bibliography (.pdf format) Summary Timeline Related Links

Timeline of Events around Vancouver Lake –

  • Late 1800’s Vancouver Lake clear, 20 ft. deep in some places, sturgeon present.
  • 1919 Port of Vancouver deeded Vancouver Lake bed and unsold tidelands of Vancouver Lake.
  • 1920 Agricultural interests proposed draining Vancouver Lake, but stopped by City and County.
  • 1928 Need recognized for improvement of the Lake for recreation, industry and navigation.
  • 1931 Diking District proposed damming of Lake River, but case taken to Supreme Court. Interest waned.
  • 1945 Vancouver Lake proposed as deactivation harbor for ships.
  • 1945 Drainage of Shillapoo Lake, but drainage of Vancouver Lake not proposed because of interest in dredging it for an inland harbor. Vancouver Lake has been observed to be almost dry on two occasions since about 1900 as recalled by local residents.
  • 1952 Interest in Vancouver Lake regenerated by Corps’ report on flood control project initiated as a result of 1948 flood. Low benefit-cost ratio.
  • 1955 Local interest regenerated for roads, parks, recreation and flood control. 1956 meetings (101 Committee) first community-wide effort to improve Vancouver Lake.
  • 1957 City Planning Commission published Industrial Land-Use Plan. Corps’ restudy of flood project at south end of the Lake has low benefit-cost ratio.
  • 1958 Industrial lands inventory done. Identifies Lowlands as potential industrial area.
  • 1959 Formal request to reactivate total flood control project by Vancouver Chamber of Commerce to Corps.
  • 1960 County land-use and circulation plans adopted. Lowlands shown as heavy industrial.
  • 1960 Property trade between Alcoa and State Game Department to provide access to Vancouver Lake for hunting, boating and fishing.
  • 1961 County zoning map for industry adopted.
  • 1962 State Department of Game sought withdrawal of area north of Vancouver Lake for fish and game management and public and fishing. Turned down by County Commissioners.
  • 1962 Department of Interior study of wildlife refuge.
  • 1962 Regional Planning Commission Columbia River Lowlands Study initiated.
  • 1962 State Department of Highways published reconnaissance survey of River Road extension.
  • 1963 State Department of Game announced regulation of water levels in Shillapoo Game Refuge.
  • 1963 Regional Planning Commission Report on Columbia River Lowlands.
  • 1964 Floods again raise local interest in Vancouver Lake.
  • 1965 F.A.I.R. Study by Port of Vancouver seeks to coordinate community interest.
  • 1966 Corps hearing on April 19 exposes large majority of favorable support for comprehensive study of Vancouver Lake along lines of F.A.I.R.
  • 1966 WSU contacted by Port of Vancouver seeking ways to improve Vancouver Lake water quality and enhance its potential. Suggested that both quantity and quality be studied to provide sound basis for future planning and development.
  • 1967 First proposal for study of present water quality in Vancouver Lake accepted by Federal Water Pollution Control Administration.
  • 1967 Vancouver Lake Complex Development Plan completed by Stevens, Thompson, Runyan & Ries Inc., for Port of Vancouver. First basic concept for detailed planning of the Vancouver Lake water and land resources.
  • 1967-68 Study of present water quality in Vancouver Lake and Lake River during summer months (worst quality conditions) completed by Sanitary Engineering Section (WSU).
  • 1968 Proposals for correlated scientific studies prepared by Washington State University and submitted to Federal Water Pollution Control Administration. Studies include: quantity of water in system (HYDROLOGIC); tides and other physical water influences (HYDROGRAPHIC); influences of channels and dredging on flow conditions (HYDRAULIC MODEL); and study to obtain data on the System and predict future Vancouver Lake water quality (WATER QUALITY PREDICTION).
  • 1969 Studies sponsored by Port of Vancouver, Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, and Washington State University.
  • 1971 Water quantity and quality studies completed by Washington State University.
  • 1972 Draft environmental impact statement on Vancouver Diking Project with favorable benefit/cost ratio by the Corps of Engineers.
  • 1973 Public hearing of the Corps of Engineers project. After testimony before the Board of County Commissioners and during the review process by the Board, the Corps of Engineers placed the project in abeyance pending completion of a land use plan for the proposed diking area.
  • 1973 Stevens, Thompson & Runyan, Inc. submitted to the Port of Vancuover a plan for reclamation of Vancouver Lake. The plan outlined a recommended flushing channel and dredging to clean the lake.
  • 1974 The Columbia River Lowlands–Vancouver Lake Task Force appointed by the Executive Committee of the Regional Planning Council after consultation with the Board of County Commissioners to develop a set of land use policies for the Vancouver Lake and Columbia Lowlands area that can receive broad community support to be used as a decision making tool by the Executive Committee and Board of County Commissioners.
  • 1974 Vancouver Lake Task Force report released.
  • 1976 Grant application written by the Port of Vancouver to the Environmental Protection Agency to dredge the lake and construct the flushing channel.
  • 1978 Final Environmental Impact Statement released by the EPA.
  • 1979 Clark County Comprehensive Plan reaffirmed heavy industrial zoning for most of lowlands.
  • 1980 Clark County Zoning Ordinance reaffirmed heavy industrial zoning for southern portion of lowlands, changed northern portion to agriculture.
  • 1983 Flushing channel completed.
  • 1985 Westside Plan initiated by City of Vancouver. Includes consideration of all industrial areas.
  • 1985 Habitat Evaluation Program initiated by Port and ALCOA.
  • 1985 Habitek planning program initiated by the County as part of the 5 year update of the County Plan.
  • 1986 Habitek Consortium report released.
  • 1995 Burnt Bridge Creek Watershed Plan written
  • 2003-2004 Vancouver Lake plagued by blue-green algae outbreaks.
  • 2004-2005 Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership formed to study history of lake and plan for future management.

Bhagat & Orsborn. 1971. A Summary Report on Water Quantity and Quality Studies of Vancouver Lake, Washington.
Regional Planning Council of Clark County. 1974c. Vancouver Lake Task Force Report: a Recommended Land Use Concept and Policies.
DeBoni & Associates. 1986a. Land Use Plan Analysis Vancouver Lake Lowlands.