Every day thousands of vessels move people, animals, and products across the country via the nation's rivers and harbors. This water traffic is a vital component of the nation's economy. One of the Corps primary missions is to ensure that this traffic can move safely, reliably, and efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.
The Corps primary navigation responsibilities include planning and constructing new navigation channels and locks and dams, and dredging to maintain channel depths at U.S. harbors and on inland waterways.
The Corps operates and maintains 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterway navigable channels, including 192 commercial lock and dam sites, and is responsible for ports and waterways in 41 states.
In partnership with local port authorities, Corps personnel oversee dredging and construction projects at hundreds of ports and harbors at an average annual cost of over $1.3 billion. The Corps dredges over 250 million cubic yards of material each year to keep the nation's waterways navigable. Much of this dredged material is reused for environmental restoration projects including the creation of wetlands.