The Corps’ navigation responsibilities are planning and constructing navigation channels, locks and dams, and dredging to maintain channel depths in U.S. harbors and inland waterways. In partnership with local port authorities, Corps personnel oversee dredging and construction projects at dozens of ports and harbors in the Northeast. Five of the nation’s top ports are located in North Atlantic Division — Boston and Portland harbors, the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Port of Philadelphia, Baltimore Harbor, and Norfolk Harbor (Hampton Roads). Roughly 35 percent of U.S. waterborne tonnage is handled through ports in the division’s area.

Quick Facts

NavigationA tug vessel and a drift vessel float on the water.

  • 13 states served by ports & waterways in NAD’s area
  • Boston, Portland Harbors: Nation’s Top Port for Foreign Waterborne Commerce
  • Port of NY and NJ: East Coast’s Largest Container Port
  • Port of Philadelphia: World’s Largest Fresh Water Port
  • Baltimore Harbor: Nation’s Top Port for Roll-on / Roll-off Cargo
  • Norfolk Harbor: Nation’s Largest Coal Export Port


  • 34.9 percent of U.S. waterborne tonnage handled through ports in NAD’s area
  • 800 million tons handled by ports & waterways in NAD’s area      
  • 4 canal projects: 

Ports and Harbors

  • Material dredged: 14.2 million cubic yards
  • One hopper dredge: McFarland (3,149 CY capacity, in Ready Reserve status)
  • 18 Survey Boats 
  • 8 Patrol Boats 
  • 4 Tugs
  • 8 Drift Debris Collection Vessels
  • 50+ Other Floating Plant

Image: Norfolk District receives its new ND-7 drift vessel in January 2023. (U.S. Army photo)