US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

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Value to the Nation: Environment

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration and Environmental Stewardship

The USACE Civil Works Environmental Program focuses on two key areas: aquatic ecosystem restoration and stewardship of project lands. Efforts in both areas are guided by USACE environmental operating principles, which help us balance economic and environmental concerns.

  • The purpose of the aquatic ecosystem restoration program, one of USACE's three core mission areas, is to restore degraded ecosystem structures, function and natural processes to a more natural condition.
  • The mission of the stewardship program is to manage, conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources at USACE operated projects, consistent with project authorities.

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration

The $224 million budget for the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration program prioritizes studies or projects that support the cost-effective restoration of nationally or regionally significant ecosystems that USACE is uniquely well-suited to manage.

USACE coordinates closely with other Federal agencies that have ongoing work in various ecosystems to synchronize activities and leverage the federal investment. The Budget predominantly supports efforts in the California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, Everglades, Great Lakes, and Upper Mississippi River watersheds as well as compliance with existing biological opinions for the Columbia-Snake system, Missouri River Basin, and the Mud Mountain Dam project on the White River in Washington State. USACE coordinates closely with other Federal agencies on these efforts to synchronize activities and best leverage the Federal investment.

Environmental Stewardship

USACE is responsible for stewardship of about 12 million acres of project lands, manages over 340 species of concern and 47,000 cultural sites. USACE has more than 450,000 acres of environmentally sensitive areas supporting unique ecosystems.

The 2017 budget for the Environmental Stewardship program will bring 25 master plans into compliance, protect vulnerable and threatened cultural resources, and manage or control invasive plant and animal species on more than 385,000 acres.

The program fully supports the Veterans Curation Program, which by the end of FY20 is projected to have hired and trained more than 650 returning Veterans since the inception of the program.

Additionally, each year the stewardship program maintains thousands of miles of Federal property boundary line, addresses encroachments and trespasses, processes land use requests, and manages a shoreline program with more than 74,000 dock and vegetation permits.

During the period FY05 through FY17, USACE restored approximately 111,000 acres to a less degraded, more natural condition.

For more information read our Environment Brochure (pdf,1.45 MB), our Lands and Water Brochure (pdf, 2.21 MB) or read more about the USACE Environmental Program.