USACE releases draft National Levee Safety Guidelines for public comment

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published April 1, 2024
Updated: April 1, 2024

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today that the first-ever comprehensive guidelines for the nation’s levees are available for public comment. The National Levee Safety Guidelines are intended to provide best practices and serve as a resource to help achieve nationwide consistency in improving the reliability of levees and resilience of communities behind levees.


The National Levee Safety Program, a joint effort between USACE and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, developed the guidelines with input from stakeholders. Topics in the draft first edition of the National Levee Safety Guidelines range from basic levee concepts and terminology to strategies for reducing flooding impacts to people, property, and the environment. Considerations for climate change impacts on levees, integrating natural and nature-based features, and needs of underserved communities are woven throughout the document.


Feedback on the scope of the National Levee Safety Guidelines from stakeholder engagement efforts over the past two years also included the need for levee vegetation management practices. High-level best practices have been incorporated into several National Levee Safety Guidelines chapters and will be expanded in the future. Until then, a companion document to the draft Guidelines, “Best Practices for Vegetation Management on Levees,” is also available for review. This document provides detailed information about the current thinking related to practices for vegetation management on or near levees.


Stakeholders, tribes, community members, and others who have an interest in levees are encouraged to provide comments on both documents which are available for download at:

Comments can be emailed to:, submitted through the Federal Register under Docket #COE-2021-0007, or mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District; ATTN: Levee Safety Center – Room 221; 4155 East Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS 39183. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than July 31, 2024.


“With thousands of communities across the country depending on levees to reduce impacts from flooding, this is a significant milestone,” said Tammy Conforti, USACE lead for the National Levee Safety Program. “Levees are designed, constructed, and managed by various entities. There has been a long-standing need to have a common reference to connect all the important practices related to levees. The guidelines provide a common framework to improve public awareness and serve as a basis for continuous dialogue and improvement of practices well into the future.”

For information on the National Levee Safety Program, visit For questions about the program, email

Doug Garman

Release no. 24-004