Environmental Program

As the nation’s environmental engineer, the U.S. Army Corps manages one of the largest federal environmental missions in the United States:

Restoring degraded ecosystems

The Corps works to restore degraded ecosystem structure, functions and dynamic processes to a more natural condition.

Constructing sustainable facilities

The responsibility to deliver environmentally sound projects and services to our customers touches every program within the Corps: Military Programs, Civil Works and Research and Development.

Regulating waterways and managing natural resources

The Corps regulates work in the nation’s wetlands and waters, with a goal of protecting the aquatic environment while allowing responsible development. The regulatory program works to ensure no net loss of wetlands while issuing about 90,000 permits a year.

Cleaning up contaminated sites from past military activities

Corps environmental cleanup programs focus on reducing risk and protecting human health and the environment in a timely and cost-effective manner. The Corps manages, designs and executes a full range of cleanup and protection activities.

The North Atlantic Division follows USACE's seven Environmental Operating Principles, which were developed to ensure that Corps missions include totally integrated sustainable environmental practices. The EOPs provide corporate direction to ensure the workforce recognizes the Corps' role in, and responsibility for, sustainable use, stewardship, and restoration of natural resources across the Nation and through the international reach of its support missions.  

USACE Environmental Operating Principles

Foster sustainability as a way of life throughout the organization.

Proactively consider environmental consequences of all Corps activities and act accordingly.

Create mutually supporting economic and environmentally sustainable solutions.

Continue to meet our corporate responsibility and accountability under the law for activities undertaken by the Corps, which may impact human and natural environments.

Consider the environment in employing a risk management and systems approach throughout the life cycles of projects and programs.

Leverage scientific, economic and social knowledge to understand the environmental context and effects of Corps actions in a collaborative manner.

Employ an open, transparent process that respects views of individuals and groups interested in Corps activities.

Environmental Stewardship
The Corps executes environmental stewardship activities on project lands and waters to sustain natural and cultural resources and takes action to minimize adverse environmental impacts. The environmental stewardship vision is to provide healthy project lands and waters for future generations. The Corps environmental stewardship mission is to manage, conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources at Corps operating water resources projects, consistent with project authorities, ecosystem sustainability approaches, USACE Environmental Operating Principles, environmental laws and regulations, and the needs of present and future generations.

The North Atlantic Division’s Environmental Stewardship Program promotes, restores, protects and manages our ecological natural resources while providing access to our lands for public use. We manage our lands and waters to protect fish and wildlife, limit encroachments, maintain our boundaries, reduce erosion, improve water quality, manage invasive species, and protect/manage threatened and endangered species and cultural resources. Our environmental stewardship program encompasses nearly 150,000 acres and more than 500 miles of shoreline. 


The scope and magnitude of environmental issues that the Corps addresses make it stand out among other federal agencies, but it is more than one agency can do on its own. It requires working in partnership with others to ensure our environmental efforts meet the needs of the American public. The Army Corps of Engineers continually partners with other federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions to find innovative solutions to challenges that affect everyone: sustainability, climate change, endangered species, environmental cleanup, ecosystem restoration and more. The Corps’ environmental professionals are key resources for anyone inside or outside the Army family, wherever and whenever environmental solutions are sought. The breadth and depth of skills found within the workforce gives it the ability to seek the best solution to environmental challenges.

Bottom Line
The Corps’ goal for its environmental mission is to restore ecosystem structure and processes, manage our land, resources and construction activities in a sustainable manner, and support cleanup and protection activities efficiently and effectively, all while leaving the smallest footprint behind.