The Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team is working to restore the urban estuary in downtown Olympia by reconnecting the river to the Salish Sea. We are an advocacy group representing the interests of the local environment, natural systems with the services that they provide, and a community that values wildlife, water quality, economic opportunities and natural beauty. We serve as a center for a creative community-driven effort for the health of the Deschutes watershed by focusing on the most beneficial restoration project for the river: freeing its estuary.
DERT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the Deschutes Watershed. DERT began organizing in 2009 and became a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2011. In 2020, DERT became an affiliate of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. DERT’s first objective is to restore the Deschutes Estuary and remove the 5th Avenue dam in Olympia, Washington. We engage in public outreach to educate the people of Olympia, and the state of Washington, about the benefits of a healthy restored estuary. For the past decade we have worked directly with key state agency leaders and legislators to encourage an honest and complete accounting of the costs of alternative plans such as ongoing dredging of a reflecting lake in perpetuity.