About Corps Planning
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is the Federal government's largest water resources development and management agency. The Corps began its water resources program in 1824 when Congress for the first time appropriated money for improving river navigation. Since then, the Corps has been involved in improving river navigation, reducing flood damage along rivers, lakes, and the coast. Along with these missions, the Corps generates hydropower, supplies water to cities and industry, regulates development in navigable waters, restores aquatic ecosystems, assists in national emergencies, and manages a recreation program. Today, the Corps manages nearly 1,500 water resources projects.
The Corps Planning Community of Practice (PCoP) is comprised of planners from across each Corps District, Divison, Research Laboratories and Headquarters. Planners serve on multi-disciplined teams to help address the Nation’s water resources needs using the planning process. Four Sub-Communities of Practice exist within the PCoP: Plan Formulation, Economics, Ecosystem Restoration, and Cultural Resources. The Corps of Engineers planning process is grounded in the economic and environmental Principles and Guidelines (P&G) promulgated in 1983 and set forth in different the Planning Guidance Notebook (ER 1105-2-100). It is also grounded in the laws which apply to the Civil Works Program and to the Corps of Engineers missions.
The P&G were set forth to provide for the formulation of reasonable plans responsive to National, State and local concerns. Likewise, the plans recommended for implementation, in general, are to reasonably maximize net national benefits. The Corps of Engineers planning process shall place specific emphasis on sound judgment; planners and other team members shall be guided by common sense in applying the policies and procedures contained herein. It also shall reflect a systematic and comprehensive treatment of watershed resources, including urban watershed resources. With regard to site-specific project studies, every effort should be made to assure that both economic and environmental value is added to watershed resources.
Innovative solutions, systems context and the application of the full range of the Corps programs and authorities are integral to the planning process. The planning process is generally thought of in six main steps known as “The 6-Step Planning Process.”