Statement by Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works on the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget

The Biden-Harris Administration today released the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. The Budget details a blueprint to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, lower costs for families, protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, and reduce the deficit by ensuring the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share—all while ensuring no one making less than $400,000 per year pays more in taxes.

“The Army Civil Works FY 2024 budget — the largest in history — demonstrates this Administration’s ongoing commitment to funding the construction of important infrastructure projects that will strengthen our economy, protect people and property, and restore key ecosystems. This budget will also spur innovation by investing in research and development, ensuring we improve our capabilities to assess risk and aggressively confront the nation’s water resource challenges in a manner that broadly supports community resilience, tackles climate change, and promotes equity for marginalized communities and Tribal nations,” said Michael L. Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

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The Budget makes critical investments in the American people that will promote greater prosperity and economic growth for decades to come.  From solving water resources challenges facing communities, to nurturing sustainable aquatic ecosystems, the Corps is delivering on its mission to serve the public.  For the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program, the Budget will:

Increase Resilience to Climate Change.  The Budget invests in improving the Nation’s water infrastructure, while incorporating climate resilience efforts into the Corps’ commercial navigation, flood and storm damage reduction, and aquatic ecosystem restoration work.  The Budget invests in 45 projects and programs that would decrease climate risks facing communities and increase ecosystem resilience to climate change based on the best available science.  The Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction program is funded at more than $1.9 billion in the FY 2024 Budget.  The Mississippi River and Tributaries program will fund ongoing work in the lower Mississippi River alluvial valley and its tributaries, with emphasis on the 1,600 miles of levees and related features on the main stem of the lower Mississippi River and in the Atchafalaya Basin.  The Budget includes funding to continue studies intended to investigate climate resilience along the Great Lakes coast as well as in Central and Southern Florida.  The Budget includes $35.5 million for technical and planning assistance programs that will help local communities, including disadvantaged communities, identify and address their flood risks associated with climate change.  The Budget provides $64 million for operation and maintenance activities that are focused on improving climate resilience and/or sustainability at existing Corps-owned projects, $51 million to mitigate for adverse impacts from existing Corps-owned projects, and $26 million to install the necessary refueling infrastructure to support zero-emission vehicles at existing Corps-owned projects.

Improve the Nation’s Infrastructure.  The Budget invests in operating and maintaining the Corps existing infrastructure and improving its reliability.  It also includes $665 million for construction of a dam safety project at Prado Dam and $235 million to help complete specifically authorized projects that have experienced cost increases since construction began.  The Budget also supports more efficient investment in infrastructure by proposing to transfer ownership from the Corps to parties that are better suited to maintain it, where appropriate.  For example, the Budget includes $350 million for replacement of the Cape Cod Canal Bridges and a legislative proposal that would allow the Corps to transfer funds to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to design and construct the Cape Cod Canal replacement bridges.  The proposal would transfer ownership of these bridges to the Commonwealth, which would be responsible for their future operation and maintenance.  Additionally, the Budget includes $235 million for a “Project Cost Increase Reserve” to help complete the Sault Ste. Marie (Replacement Lock), MI project as reauthorized by  Section 8401 (6) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, which is Division H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, Public Law 117-81.

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Facilitate Safe, Reliable and Sustainable Commercial Navigation to Improve the Resilience of our Nation’s Manufacturing Supply Chain to support American Jobs and the Economy.  The Budget invests in five projects that facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable navigation at the Nation’s coastal ports and on the inland waterways.  The Budget includes $1.726 billion in spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) to support commerce through U.S. coastal ports and over $1 billion to maintain and improve navigation on the inland waterways.  These significant investments will facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable commercial navigation at our Nation’s coastal ports and inland waterways.  Within the HMTF total, the Budget includes $272 million for operation and maintenance of Great Lakes projects, $58 million for projects that support access by Native American tribes to their legally recognized historic fishing areas, $15 million for a construction project that will accommodate disposal of material dredged from coastal navigation projects, and $21.152 million for mitigating for adverse impacts from navigation projects.

Support the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative through Investments in Projects that Benefit Disadvantaged Communities by Increasing their Resilience to Climate Change.  The Budget invests in 23 studies, and in the construction of 33 projects to help disadvantaged and tribal communities address their water resources challenges in line with the President’s Justice40 Initiative—including funding for the Tribal Partnership Program. In the FY 2024 Budget, the Corps continued its commitment to the overall Federal effort to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits of Federal climate and clean energy investments will directly benefit disadvantaged communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened and Tribal nations. Through the FY 2024 Budget, the Corps is securing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened by pollution and are experiencing underinvestment in essential services. The Corps contributes to this Justice40 Initiative through its studies and projects, and through specific programs, such as the Continuing Authorities Program, Planning Assistance to States, Floodplain Management Services, and the Tribal Partnership Program. The Corps is committed to achieving the broader goals of the Administration regarding equity and environmental justice and will continue to: 1) improve outreach and access to Civil Works information and resources; 2) improve access to Civil Works technical and planning assistance programs (e.g., the Flood Plain Management Services and Planning Assistance to States programs) and maximize the reach of Civil Works projects to benefit the disadvantaged communities, in particular as it relates to climate resiliency; and 3) ensure that any updates to Civil Works policies and guidance will not result in a disproportionate negative impact on disadvantaged communities

Restore Aquatic Habitat where the Aquatic Ecosystem Structure, Function and Processes Have Degraded.  The FY 2024 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration program is funded at $653 million in the Budget.  The Corps will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management to restore degraded ecosystem structure, function, and/or process to a more natural condition.  The Budget invests in the restoration of some of the Nation’s most unique aquatic ecosystems, such as the Chesapeake Bay, the Upper Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, the Louisiana Coast, and the Everglades.  For example, the Budget includes $415 million for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER) (Everglades) program ― which is an $8 million increase compared to the 2023 Budget level and $66.77 million for Columbia River Fish Mitigation.

Invest in Research and Development to Solve the Nation’s Toughest Water Resources Challenges.  The Budget provides $86 million ─ the largest request in Corps’ history ─ for research and development.  The challenges of today and tomorrow are not like yesterday’s.  From droughts and wildfires across the western states, to the increasingly frequent disasters faced by communities across the country, many of the 21st century’s water resources challenges are complex and interconnected.  Our nation needs integrated engineering solutions based on the best available science and technology to solve our toughest water resources challenges today and in the future.

The Budget makes these smart investments while also reducing deficits and improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook. In addition, the Budget proposes revisions to the appropriations language for the Construction, Operation and Maintenance, and Mississippi River and Tributaries accounts and the Harbor Maintenance and Inland Waterways Trust Funds to enable greater transparency and accountability in how these funds are spent.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program works with other Federal agencies, and with State, Tribal, and local agencies and others to develop, manage, restore, and protect water resources primarily through the construction, operation and maintenance, and study of water-related infrastructure projects, as well as by regulating development in waters of the United States, and working with other Federal agencies to help communities respond to, and recover from, floods and other natural disasters.

For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program, the Budget would provide over $7.4 billion in gross discretionary funding that would be distributed among the appropriations accounts as follows:

  • Investigations                                                                                    $129,832,000
  • Construction                                                                                   $2,014,577,000
  • Operation and Maintenance                                                        $2,629,913,000
  • Regulatory Program                                                                         $221,000,000
  • Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T)                                 $226,478,000
  • Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program                   $200,000,000
  • Expenses                                                                                             $212,000,000
  • Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies                                       $40,000,000
  • Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)        $7,200,000
  • Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works                            $6,000,000
  • Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund                                               $1,726,000,000
  • TOTAL                                                                                  $ 7,413,000,000

The Budget is complemented by $1 billion for operation and maintenance and $50 million for construction in 2024 from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Public Law 117-58 (IIJA):

  • Construction                                                                                        $50,000,000
  • Operation and Maintenance                                                       $1,000,000,000
  • TOTAL                                                                                   $1,050,000,000

The Budget includes five previously unfunded programs and projects within the Investigations account — Klamath Basin, CA (Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration); Southeast Michigan, MI (Flood Risk Management); Tittabawassee River, Chippewa River, Pine River and Tobacco River, MI (Flood Risk Management); Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, RI (Flood Damage Reduction Coastal); and, Morgantown, WV Lock and Dam Automation.  The Budget also includes a previously unfunded project within the Construction account –  Cape Cod Canal Bridges, MA (Navigation).

The Budget funds three studies to completion in the Investigations Account ─ Guadalupe River, CA (General Reevaluation Report) (Flood Damage Reduction Riverine); St Augustine Back Bay, FL (Flood Damage Reduction Coastal); and, Columbia and Lower Willamette Rivers Below Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR Dredged Material Management Plan (Navigation).  Additionally, the Budget funds  49 master plans and water control manual updates within the Operation and Maintenance Account to completion.

Overall, the President’s Budget for FY 2024 for the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program reflects the administration’s priorities to strengthen the supply chain and grow the

nation’s economy, decrease climate risk for communities and increase ecosystem resilience to climate change based on the best available science, and promote environmental justice in underserved and marginalized communities and Tribal Nations in line with the Justice40 initiative and creating good paying jobs that provide the free and fair chance to join a union and

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collectively bargain.  The FY 2024 Budget investments will work to confront climate change by reducing flood risk and restoring ecosystems.  The Corps is working to integrate climate preparedness and climate resilience planning in all of its activities, such as by helping communities reduce their potential vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change and variability.

The IIJA is aiding flood damage reduction on our coasts by funding three construction projects to completion — Brigantine Inlet to Great Egg Inlet (Absecon Island), NJ; BDOB Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY; and, Sandbridge Beach, VA — and,  providing construction funds to survey the Atlantic Coast of New York City, Rockaway Inlet to Norton Point (Coney Island), NY.  Additionally, IIJA complements the FY 2024 Budget by providing over $1 billion of additional funds to aid the operation, and maintenance of many critical infrastructure systems, including navigation, hydropower, water supply, flood and storm protection, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and other types of projects.

Building on the President’s strong record of fiscal responsibility, the Budget more than fully pays for all of its investments—reducing deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.

For more information on the President’s FY 2024 Budget, please visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/.  The FY 2024 Civil Works budget press book, as well as information about funding provided from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, are available at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx.

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