Overview of Aquatic Resources Regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

April 26, 2012 — 1,303 views  
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While many people believe the United States Army only deals with combat operations, the truth is that this branch of the military guards all of America's interests, including wetlands and waterways. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) requires construction professionals to obtain federal permits when building on or near natural aquatic resources, and applying for these licenses may be a lengthy process. Any builder should be aware of the following aquatic regulations mandated by the Corps of Engineers.

Rivers - Though homes are not likely to be built on rivers, it is possible that you may wish to construct a bridge or pier to cross the waterway. If this is the case, you must contact the USACE to ascertain whether certain natural fill materials require a permit.

Lakes - The same holds true with stationary bodies of water like lakes. The Clean Water Act is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of America's drinking water, and many lakes either drain into groundwater or act as reservoirs. The last thing you want to do is unknowingly contaminate a drinking source.

Wetlands - This is the single most important resource that the Corps protects. These environments prevent flooding from excessive amounts of storm water and also replenish critical groundwater supplies. Many endangered species also live among these lands, and you must make sure that you do not disturb these protected habitats.