Value to the Nation Fast Facts

National Level Report

US Army Corps of Engineers — Value to the Nation

Natural and recreational resources at the Nation's 402 Corps lakes provide social, economic and environmental benefits for all Americans. Following are facts related to the Corps' role managing natural and recreational resources in the U.S.


Facilities in FY 2013

  • 4,628 recreation areas 
  • 33,105 picnic sites 
  • 90,773 camping sites 
  • 2,022 playgrounds 
  • 959 swimming areas 
  • 2,919 number of trails 
  • 9,504 trail miles 
  • 367 fishing docks 
  • 3,671 boat ramps 
  • 110,735 marina slips 

Public Outreach in FY 2013

  • 3,538,357 public outreach contacts

Visits (person-trips) in FY 2012*

  • 335,293,332 in total
  • 38,348,125 picnickers
  • 5,873,797 campers 
  • 41,502,229 swimmers 
  • 13,637,270 water skiers 
  • 68,955,241 boaters 
  • 115,422,898 sightseers 
  • 82,194,980 fishermen 
  • 6,083,323 hunters 
  • 60,439,973 others

Benefits in Perspective

By providing opportunities for active recreation, Corps lakes help combat one of the most significant of the nation's health problems: lack of physical activity.

Recreational programs and activities at Corps lakes also help strengthen family ties and friendships; provide opportunities for children to develop personal skills, social values, and self-esteem; and increase water safety.


Economic Data in FY 2012*

335,293,332 visits per year resulted in:

  • $11,171,123 (thousands) in visitor spending within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $5,682,793 (thousands) in sales within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • 90,728 jobs within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $2,046,286 (thousands) in labor income within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $3,296,541 (thousands) in value added within 30 miles of Corps lakes.

With multiplier effects, visitor trip spending resulted in:

  • $8,617,148 (thousands) in total sales.
  • 115,826 jobs.
  • $3,009,197 (thousands) in labor income.
  • $5,093,094 (thousands) in value added (wages & salaries, payroll benefits, profits, rents, and indirect business taxes).

Benefits in Perspective

The money spent by visitors to Corps lakes on trip expenses adds to the local and national economies by supporting jobs and generating income. Visitor spending represents a sizable component of the economy in many communities around Corps lakes.

How these numbers were calculated.


Resources in FY 2013

  • 7,829,605 land acres
  • 5,630,584 water acres
  • 41,193 shoreline miles

Benefits in Perspective

Recreation experiences increase motivation to learn more about the environment; understanding and awareness of environmental issues; and sensitivity to the environment.


*Visitation data for fiscal year (FY) 2013 are not currently available; therefore, the visitation and economic data fields shown on this sheet reflect the latest reliable values (FY 2012). These fields will be updated as the data becomes available.

Source: Value to the Nation web site at
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