As the nation’s environmental engineer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages one of the largest federal environmental missions: restoring degraded ecosystems; constructing sustainable facilities; regulating waterways; managing natural resources; and, cleaning up contaminated sites from past military activities.
Our environmental programs support the warfighter and military installations worldwide as well as USACE public recreation facilities throughout the country. In 2002, USACE adopted its seven Environmental Operating Principles, or green ethics, which continue to guide our environmental and sustainability work today.
USACE works in partnership 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.
USACE works to restore degraded ecosystem structure, function and dynamic processes to a more natural condition through large-scale ecosystem restoration projects, such as the Everglades, the Louisiana Coastal Area, the Missouri River, and the Great Lakes, and by employing system-wide watershed approaches to problem solving and management for smaller ecosystem restoration projects. USACE’s regulatory program works to ensure no net loss of wetlands while issuing about 90,000 permits a year.
USACE environmental cleanup programs focus on reducing risk and protecting human health and the environment in a timely and cost-effective manner. USACE manages, designs and executes a full range of cleanup and protection activities, such as:
- Cleaning up sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste or ordnance through the Formerly Used Defense Sites program.
- Cleaning up low-level radioactive waste from the nation’s early atomic weapons program through the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.
- Supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by cleaning up Superfund sites and working with its Brownfields and Urban Waters programs.
- Supporting the Army with the Base Realignment and Closure Act program.
- Ensuring that facilities comply with federal, state and local environmental laws.
- Conserving cultural and natural resources.
USACE is striving 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.