US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

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Navigation: Economic Impact

Graphic depicting volume of waterborne trade domestic and foreign, by state. Click for full size picture
Image of waterborne trade volume

Despite the growth in high-tech communication and high-speed transportation the nation's ports and waterways remain the crucial backbone of our economy.  Approximately 2.3 billion tons of cargo are shipped to, from or through 41 states each year. USACE navigation services play an essential role in ensuring that commercial goods move smoothly along the distribution chain.

Did you know that…

  • Approximately 98% of the overseas trade, by weight, with a value of $1.47 trillion, move through USACE projects.
  • Over 70% of imported oil and more than 48% of goods purchased by American consumers pass through harbors maintained by USACE.
  • The U.S. marine transportation industry supports trillions of dollars in commerce and millions of jobs.

A smooth, well-functioning navigation system is crucial to the nation's economy. Each year USACE invests more than $1.5 billion in engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of the nation's waterways, ports and harbors.

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