Value to the Nation logo graphic

Value to the Nation


Value to the Nation

From our hundreds of rivers, lakes and wetlands to our thousands of miles of coastal shoreline, we are fortunate in the United States to enjoy an abundance of water resources. As a nation, we value these resources for their natural beauty, for the many ways they help meet human needs, and for the habitat they provide for thousands of species of plants, fish and wildlife.

USACE is proud to have the responsibility of helping to care for these important aquatic resources. Through its annual appropriations, USACE plans, invests in, operates, and maintains a system of Civil Works infrastructure. The USACE Civil Works program carries out a wide array of projects that provide:

One major challenge USACE and other government agencies face is finding the right balance among the often conflicting concerns our society has related to our water resources. We want these resources to help fuel economic growth (navigation, hydropower). We want them to provide social benefits (recreation). And finally, we want to be sure that they are available for future generations (environmental protection and restoration).

USACE seeks to achieve this balance through an integrated approach to water resources management that focuses on regional solutions involving an array of stakeholders (i.e. other government agencies, environmental groups, businesses and private organizations). 

Browse through each business line for more information.

Water Resources

Collapse All Expand All

Whether you live on the banks of a river or hundreds of miles from one, your life is impacted upon every day by what happens on our nation's waterways. Our rivers provide affordable transportation for raw materials, manufactured products and consumer goods; a ready water supply for homes and businesses; irrigation for farms; recreation; and habitats for plants, fish and wildlife. Read more


USACE manages hundreds of lake and river projects nationwide. USACE personnel work diligently to focus the resources of these lakes to meet a wide variety of purposes including generating power for homes and businesses; supplying water for nearby communities; and providing wonderful recreational get-away spots for camping, fishing, boating, hiking and more. We also strive to be good stewards of the environment in these areas. Read more


Wetlands play many critical environmental roles, including providing habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species; serving as rest stops for migratory birds; helping to prevent floods; controlling erosion; and filtering water. Wetlands can range in size and scope from small marshes to an area as large as the Everglades. Read more


America's ever-increasing population and the growing complexity of our society are making it increasingly challenging for USACE and other groups to balance the many competing demands on our nation's water resources. Today, solving a problem in one location may well create problems in a nearby area. To address this concern, USACE and others have adopted a watershed approach to addressing water resource issues. Read more


From our bustling ports and harbors to our smooth, sand beaches, our nation's coasts are a testament to the economic vitality and natural beauty of America. Our coasts are also home to fragile ecosystems hosting many rare, threatened and endangered species. Read more

Graphic illustrating Value to the Nation business line topics

Fast Facts

VTN Fast Facts map

Capital Stock Fast Facts are available for 2023. Value to the Nation Fast Facts are available for 2022 and earlier.