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Planning Community Toolbox
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About Corps Planning
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 program delivers water resources solutions for the Nation by:

  • Preparing for and adapting to future water resources needs;
  • Collaborating with our partners and stakeholders with intentional and transparent communication;
  • Integrating interdisciplinary perspectives, technical analysis, and societal values to illuminate decisions; and
  • Applying a scalable, disciplined, and risk-informed process to advise decision makers.

The Corps Planning Community of Practice (PCoP) is a comprised of more than 1,000 planners from each Corps District, Division, 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. In addition, there are several Planning Centers of Expertise advising teams in the development and review of technical aspects of planning and civil works project delivery. 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), as well as the numerous laws and policies which apply to the Civil Works Program and to the Corps of Engineers missions.

Innovative solutions, systems context and the application of the full range of the Corps programs and authorities are integral to the planning process. The Corps planning process is generally thought of in six main steps:

  • Step 1 - Identifying problems and opportunities
  • Step 2 - Inventorying and forecasting conditions
  • Step 3 - Formulating alternative plans
  • Step 4 - Evaluating alternative plans
  • Step 5 - Comparing alternative plans
  • Step 6 - Selecting a plan

This Toolbox for the Planning Community includes resources and links for Corps Planners and their partners to deliver the Civil Works Planning program. Explore the Toolbox and find out more about the people, processes, and guidance that steer the Planning program.