President’s FY17 Budget for USACE Civil Works released

Galveston, Texas (Feb. 29, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will receive new feasibility funding for the Houston Ship Channel and Coastal Texas studies; continued funding for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Brazos River Flood Gates and Colorado River Locks as well as the Matagorda Ship Channel widening and deepening; construction funding for Addicks and Barker dams in Houston, and continued Operation and Maintenance funding for the Texas waterways in the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget for the Corps’ Civil Works program.

“The President’s Budget for FY17 reflects federal priorities for managing vital water resources in coastal Texas,” said Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander. “The Corps of Engineers is committed to effectively and efficiently delivering high value projects and programs across our navigation, flood risk management, regulatory and environmental restoration business lines. This includes not only ongoing operations and maintenance, but also new study investigations and construction. ”

General Investigation studies refer to the traditional and most common way for the Corps to assist a community in addressing large-scale, complex water resource problems. A General Investigation study often begins with a request for assistance from a community or a local or state government entity with a water resource need (navigation, flood protection or ecosystem restoration) beyond its capability. Before initiating a study, the Corps generally requires two types of congressional authority – authorization and appropriations. Once the study is authorized and funds are appropriated, the project will advance through two phases using General Investigation funding: feasibility and preconstruction engineering and design.  If the study is approved by Congress, additional authorization and appropriations must occur for construction to begin.

“The 2017 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the administration’s priorities to support and improve the nation’s economy, protect the American people and restore our environment,” said the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “This budget supports the core mission areas of coastal and inland navigation, reducing flood and storm risks and restoring aquatic ecosystems.”

According to Rob Thomas, chief of the Project Management Branch for the USACE Galveston District, the funding will enable staff to work with non-federal partners to continue ongoing studies and design on various projects.

“The FY17 budget funds important studies that enable USACE to quantify needed improvements to our navigation projects that will dramatically enhance commerce for the nation while improving safety for our mariners,” said Thomas. “The Coastal Texas Feasibility Study for storm risk management and ecosystem restoration will help us establish plans that optimize benefits to the national economy and environment.”

The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 250 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight.

View the FY17 Civil Works budget online at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books. For more news and information about the USACE Galveston District visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.

USACE Galveston District to host Stakeholder Partnering Forum

GALVESTON, Texas (Feb. 29, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will meet with non-federal sponsors, customers and agency partners to collaborate on best practices regarding programs ranging from environmental to flood risk management, dredging the Texas coast and regulatory oversight of U.S. waters during a Stakeholder Partnering Forum, March 3, at the district’s headquarters building located at 2000 Fort Point Road, Galveston, TX 77550.

 

“We are fortunate to have George P. Bush, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, as our keynote speaker and the participation of Brig. Gen. David C. Hill, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division,” said Col. Richard Pannell, commanding officer of the USACE Galveston District. “Several non-federal sponsors are scheduled to provide a summary of their experiences and best practices in working with the Corps under a variety of authorities and project types. There will also be a number of interactive seminars and breakout sessions on specific topics of interest, oriented toward increasing stakeholder understanding about our programs and processes.”

 

The one-day forum will identify opportunities to optimize project delivery commitments and emergency management interests including the Levee Safety Program, updated federal authorities/policies/process and convey how these changes impact partnering on future projects.

 

According to Pannell, this is a unique opportunity for non-federal sponsors, customers and agency partners along the Texas coast to network and exchange ideas, discuss best practices and lessons learned.

 

“We look forward to an increase in participation over last year and know this forum will provide an opportunity to openly discuss what is working well, where the challenges lie and which strategies and tools are most effective in working through these processes,” said Pannell.

 

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center will offer a seminar entitled Co-developing Solutions through Engineering with Nature and Regional Sediment Management. This interactive session is designed to manage project delivery timeline expectations.

Past and current agendas and presentations will be accessible prior to the upcoming event at http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/About/Partners/StakeholderPartneringForum.aspx. For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.