US Army Corps of Engineers
North Atlantic Division Website

12 Things You May Not Know About The Army Corps

You may know that the Army Corps is a mostly civilian agency, we're divided along watershed lines, and we do a mix of military construction and water resource management, but here are some things you might not know:

  • We own and operate many dams, bridges, and levees.
  • USACE Districts are funded by projects. All our non-military projects have to be cost-shared. And we can't just decide on our own what civil works projects to pursue nor can we advocate for projects.
  • Our projects require both congressional 1) authorization and 2) appropriation. Without authorization, appropriated funds may be restricted or withheld unless there is specific appropriation language expressing Congressional intent.
  • Studies and projects must re-compete for funding each budget year.
  • Under our International, Interagency and Environmental Services program, we can operate essentially as a government-owned engineering firm, providing specialized contracting support to government and international agencies. Got a question on how we can support you? Call us: 347-370-4550.
  • Under Section 22, WRDA 1974, we can provide planning assistance to states. This could include water supply/demand, groundwater issues, recreation master plans, erosion and sedimentation, water quality, wetlands evaluation, and floodplain studies.
  • Under Section 216 of the 1970 Flood Control Act, we can review completed projects if conditions have significantly changed or to improve the quality of the environment in the public interest.
  • The Corps regulatory mission is limited to waters of the United States. We don't have jurisdiction on floodplains, just wetlands and waterways themselves.
  • Besides providing sandbags and technical assistance, direct Corps disaster assistance is limited to community (not individual) support. But only after all local and state resources have been exhausted and a written letter is received from the Governor.
  • For flooding/erosion assistance, we can evaluate sites, but since a sponsor is needed even to start a study to see if Federal involvement is warranted, we insist that a local government representative attend.
  • We have no authority or ability to assist scouting groups, the Little League, or any other organization in grading a property, fixing a building, or anything similar. 
  • Congress has provided the Corps with "Standing Authorities" to study and build specific water resource projects for specific purposes and with specified federal spending limits. This is our continuing authorities program or "CAP." Although CAP dollars are limited, it can certainly help with small issues with a federal interest. Got a question? Call us: 347-370-4550.

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