US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation


Value to the Nation: Recreation

Corps Lakes at Play

EVERY YEAR…there are about 250 million visits to the 403 Corps of Engineers lakes, where visitors exercise, spend time with their families or just enjoy a lazy afternoon. Most of them will have driven an hour or less from a major city to reach their favorite Corps lake. The fortunate Americans who experience a Corps lake benefit from the fresh air and exercise and these hours of recreation are often a highlight of their week. USACE is continually working to maintain and improve the parks surrounding these lakes including adding new recreational features, usually in partnership with local governments or private recreation organizations. Visit Corps Lakes Gateway and start planning your trip to a Corps lake today! Read more…

Corps Lakes at Work

EVERY DAY…189,000 Americans work at jobs supporting visitors to Corps lakes, at restaurants, hotels, marinas and other businesses related to tourism. These jobs play an important role in the local economy and generate annual visitor spending of about $11 billion. Corps lakes attract residents and businesses to the area resulting in investments to take advantage of the sporting and tourism opportunities the lake offers. Corps lakes are powerful generators of economic development, often located in areas that are in need of steady jobs. Read more…

Corps Lakes and the Environment

EVERY DAY…The Corps of Engineers protects and manages 13 million acres of natural environment in and around its lakes through projects that protect and reestablish healthy ecosystems like planting new stands of the near-extinct Eastern chestnut trees, establishing fish hatcheries and controlling the threats posed by invasive species. Read more…

Corps Lakes in Partnership

USACE partners with a wide range of organizations to undertake environmental projects at the lakes, develop recreational activities and educate visitors. USACE also enlists thousands of individual volunteers annually to assist with its training and education activities. Read more…

For more information read our Recreation Brochure (pdf, 1.80 MB) or view the Recreation Fast Facts

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Fast Facts

VTN Fast Facts map