Institute for Water Resources

Home > Missions > Value to the Nation > Environment > Environment: Rivers

Value to the Nation logo graphic

Value to the Nation

Environment: Rivers

Through a wide array of initiatives, the Corps environmental program is improving our nation's rivers by helping to:

  • protect and restore river habitats;
  • increase connectivity between rivers and nearby lakes or wetlands;
  • restore floodplains and associated wetlands;
  • re-establish natural river flows; and
  • achieve other important environmental objectives.

An excellent example of the Corps’ efforts is the Sustainable Rivers Project. Through this program, the Corps is working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to preserve and restore rivers in over 13 states. The program grew out of an ongoing successful effort to restore Kentucky's Green River, which is the nation's fourth most diverse river for fish and mussels. By changing how water is released from the Green River Dam to more closely mimic natural conditions, the project is encouraging fish and mussel spawning, and providing other significant benefits to plants and animals downstream while continuing to meet the needs of area residents. Similar activities are underway at the other Sustainable Rivers Project sites. For more information, read this special series of articles about the project.

Some of the Corps largest ecosystem restoration projects in 2010 involved rivers, including the Columbia River Fish & Wildlife Mitigation project, Missouri River Fish & Wildlife Mitigation project, and the Upper Mississippi River Restoration project. Corps personnel also keep environmental considerations at the forefront of their thinking as they undertake the dredging and construction projects that are so crucial to keeping our nation's rivers safe for navigation.

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