print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
 Home > Government > Council on Environmental Quality

Council on Environmental Quality
Link to Cleaner Air Information Link to Cleaner Water Information Link to Cleaner Lands Information Link to Healthier Ecosystems Information Link to Global Climate Change Information Link to Cleaner Energy Information

Conserving America’s Wetlands 2008:
Four Years of Partnering Resulted in
Accomplishing the President's Goal

Appendix E.
Department of the Army
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works

Table E-1. USACE Programs Supporting the President's Wetland Goal in FY 2009. Funding (millions of dollars)*


Program Restore or Create Improve Protect Total Wetlands Funding for Goal FY 2009 Difference from FY 2008
USACE Civil Works
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program 39.200 203.000 0.800 243.000 0.000

Table E-2. USACE Programs Supporting the President's Wetland Goal in FY 2009. Planned Accomplishments (in acres)


Program Restore or Create Improve Protect Total Wetlands Funding for Goal FY 2009 Difference from FY 2008
USACE Civil Works
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program 1,642 15,741 185 17,383 -76

USACE Projects Supporting the President's Wetland Goal

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has numerous study, project-specific, and programmatic authorities for implementing aquatic ecosystem restoration projects. The goal is to help restore aquatic habitat to a less degraded and more natural condition in ecosystems whose structure, function, and dynamic processes have become degraded. In addition, activities contributing to the President’s goal may occur on the 12 million acres of water and land managed by the USACE for other purposes, such as flood damage reduction, navigation, and recreation. Another contribution is the use of dredged material to create, restore, or improve wetland habitat as part of routine maintenance dredging of federal channels.

The data in the tables above represent a subset of the total USACE commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Because most USACE restoration projects take several years to complete, the funds appropriated in any one fiscal year have a minimal correlation to the number of acres that count toward the President’s goal in that fiscal year. Projects are included in the budget based on their effectiveness in addressing significant regional or national aquatic ecological problems. The aquatic ecosystem studies and projects proposed by the USACE for funding in FY 2009 include the following examples.

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP): The primary and overarching purpose of CERP is to restore the South Florida ecosystem, which includes the Everglades. The plan provides the framework and guidance to re-establish, rehabilitate, protect, and preserve the water resources of the greater Everglades ecosystem. CERP has been described as the world’s largest ecosystem restoration effort, and includes providing more natural flows of water, improved water quality, and more natural hydro-periods within the remaining natural areas. The plan is intended to help restore the ecosystem while ensuring clean and reliable water supplies, and providing flood protection in urban areas.

Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration: More than one million acres of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands have been lost since the 1930s; another third of a million acres could be lost over the next 50 years unless large-scale corrective actions are taken. The ecosystem restoration program will construct significant restoration features; undertake demonstration projects; study potentially promising large-scale, longterm concepts; and take other needed actions to restore the ecosystem. A 10-year plan of studies and projects was developed through a public involvement process, and working closely with other federal agencies and the state of Louisiana.

Also in support of the projects is a science and technology program. This program provides the necessary science and technology to effectively address coastal ecosystem restoration needs; provides analytical tools and recommendations to the program management team for appropriate studies to reduce uncertainties; integrates the roles and resources of the scientific community and other coastal protection agencies and partners at the state, local, and federal level; and provides for internal and external technical review and a systematic approach for coordination with other ongoing and planned related research activities.

Upper Mississippi River Environmental Restoration Program: Originally authorized in 1986 but significantly modified in 1999, the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) provides for planning, construction, and evaluation of measures for fish and wildlife habitat rehabilitation. Multiple habitat projects are helping to revitalize the side channels and to re-establish or rehabilitate island, aquatic, and riparian habitat in the Upper Mississippi River. The program also includes funds for the collection of project and systemic baseline data and monitoring.

Over the past 18 years, the ERP’s Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (HREP) component has evolved into a successful program that combines a broad range of construction techniques with approaches that strive to use or mimic natural riverine processes, providing benefits to the river at system, reach, pool, and local scales. Since its 1999 reauthorization, the HREP program has continued to build upon the successful foundation established in the program’s first years.

USACE Programs that Maintain the Wetland Base

Environmental Stewardship: Together with its partners, the USACE provides environmental stewardship of nearly 12 million acres of public land and water and oversees the natural resources management of 456 operating civil works water resources projects nationwide. The USACE strives to provide sound environmental stewardship of lands and waters entrusted to its care, while accomplishing multiple authorized project purposes. Its natural resources management mission is to manage and conserve those natural resources (including fish and wildlife, woodlands and grasslands, wetlands, soils, and water) consistent with ecosystem sustainability principles, to serve the needs of present and future generations.

The stewardship of wetland resources is an integral part of the USACE stewardship responsibility. Although the classification and quantity of wetland acreage under USACE stewardship has not yet been determined, an inventory of natural resources (including wetlands) is required for each project. This effort is underway and is being accomplished as fiscal resources allow. Information from the inventories is incorporated into master plans and operational management plans, and is used to help manage, conserve, and/or protect wetland resources. Where feasible, wetland resources management is integrated to provide mutual benefits, such as for efforts to manage wetland-dependent plants and animals, including endangered species. In addition, the effects of existing and proposed land-use activities are monitored or evaluated to guard against wetland degradation or loss. Opportunities to enhance wetland quality and quantity are implemented where feasible, employing partnerships and volunteer assistance where possible.

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC): Within the Environmental Laboratory, the Wetlands and Coastal Ecology group conducts field and laboratory investigations on biotic and abiotic resources in wetlands and coastal systems and develops products/systems supporting assessment, restoration, and management of wetlands and coastal ecosystems. Examples of wetlands research include the development of improved standards, techniques, and guidelines for the planning, design, and construction of USACE wetland restoration and creation projects, as well as exploration of innovative plant harvesting/installation methods for the large-scale restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, state-of-the-art tools and methods for wetlands restoration will be integrated to forecast physical, chemical, and biological responses to water resource management activities and to manage these resources within a watershedscale perspective. Approximately $2.2 million is included in the FY 2009 budget for wetlands research.

Regulatory Clean Water Act 404 Program: The USACE manages the nation’s wetlands through a regulatory program requiring permits for the discharge of dredged and fill material into jurisdictional waters of the United States. In a typical year the USACE receives permit requests to fill about 25,000 acres of jurisdictional waters. Of these, about 5,000 acres are not permitted and, with respect to the 20,000 acres that are permitted, the USACE requires mitigation on average of more than two acres for each permitted acre lost. This important regulatory program helps maintain the wetland base so other federal programs can achieve gains. FY 2009 funding request is $180 million.