Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

Environment: Lakes

The Corps manages over 400 lakes and their associated lands nationwide. We are dedicated to caring for these wonderful natural resources by:

  • preserving and restoring habitats for plants, fish and wildlife;
  • protecting rare, endangered and threatened species;
  • operating fish hatcheries and wildlife refuges in cooperation with state agencies; and
  • monitoring water quality.

An example of these efforts in action is an innovative pilot program through which the Corps and seven other federal agencies are working to "reinvent" over 30 lakes nationwide by involving area residents in Citizen Focus Groups that actively participate in lake management. Several of these lakes are Corps-managed. Together, the Corps and these focus groups are assessing environmental and economic challenges affecting the lakes and developing innovative solutions to address them. This includes streamlining processes and procedures in order to speed progress in achieving goals. Emphasis is placed on cooperative efforts between federal agencies and others interested in federal lakes.

For instance, at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas, the Corps is part of a cooperative effort involving the Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group. This effort is aimed at developing a watershed approach to lake management. Projects to date have included workshops on aquatic vegetation, watershed management and marine sanitation, and the introduction of new legislation pertaining to marine sanitation. Successful pilot projects will serve as role models for nationwide improvement efforts on federal lakes.

Learn more about recent Corps environmental activities associated with lakes. Learn more about the Corps integrated approach to water resources management related to lakes.