spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Planning Community Toolbox
USACE Castle
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Toolbox Home Link to Planner's Library Link to Project Delivery Link to People Link to Tools Link to Processes Link to Training Link to Search Link to Contact Us spacer
spacer Description spacer spacer

Red divider graphic

ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic

Red divider graphic

Public Outreach and Engagement

Guidance, information, and training on partnering with USACE and Centers of Expertise, conflict resolution, and engagement.

  • Guidance
    • EP 1105-2-57: Planning Stakeholder Engagement, Collaboration and Coordination (formerly Appendix B of the PGN)
      This pamphlet explains the benefits of, and requirements for, stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and coordination in Civil Works planning studies. These activities are critical to study success because they may foster trust and credibility between USACE and the communities we serve; increase collective understanding of problems; reduce controversy and litigation risks; and improve the quality and execution of our decisions. Note: This EP replaces the existing Appendix B of the Planning Guidance Notebook.
    • Engineer Pamphlet 1105-2-64: Tribal Partnership Program
      This Engineer Pamphlet establishes a strategy for the planning, design, and construction of projects under the USACE Tribal Partnership Program (TPP). The TPP allows Tribes to preserve, protect, and manage their own resources through authorized activities which include projects for flood and coastal storm risk management, including erosion control, aquatic ecosystem restoration, navigation, watershed assessments and planning activities, technical assistance, and other projects that are determined appropriate by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
    • Engineer Regulation 25-1-115: Guidance for Preparation and Processing of Information Management Collections
      This Engineer Regulation prescribes guidance for the preparation and processing of USACE information management collections requiring approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This regular supersedes Engineer Regulation 1165-2-503, dated 31 October 2007.
    • Implementation of the Interim Environmental Justice Strategic Plan: Memorandum and Strategic Plan
      This memorandum transmits the USACE Interim Environmental Justice Strategic Plan for Implementation across the Civil Works enterprise and provides requirements for the development of district strategic plans. The plan, which outlines seven objectives based on the 15 March 2022 Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works interim guidance, is included as an attachment.
    • Interim Implementation Guidance for Environmental Justice and the Justice40 Initiative
      This memorandum provides interim guidance and direction to the (USACE Civil Works program related to the implementation of environmental justice and the Justice40 Initiative. This memorandum applies to all Civil Works programs and missions, other than the Regulatory Program.
    • Addendum to the Interim Implementation Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative, M-21-28, on using the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST)
      This White House memorandum provides heads of executive departments and agencies with an Addendum to the Interim Implementation Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative, M-21-28, issued on July 20, 2021 ("Justice40 Interim Guidance"). The geospatial Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool ("CEJST" or "tool") was released in beta version on February 18, 2022. The version 1.0 of the CEJST was released on November 22, 2022. This memorandum provides supplemental guidance to Federal agencies on using the tool. Federal agencies should now start using the CEJST to identify geographically defined disadvantaged communities for any covered programs under the Justice40 Initiative and for programs where a statute directs resources to disadvantaged communities, to the maximum extent possible and permitted by law.
    • Interim Implementation Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative
      This Interim Implementation Guidance provides the initial recommendations within Executive Order 14008, which analyzed how certain Federal investments might fulfill the overarching goal of the Justice40 Initiative, and also supports the Administration's comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all in accordance with Executive Order 13985. The interim guidance includes a set of actions required of agencies that manage covered Justice40 programs. These actions include identifying the benefits of covered programs, determining how covered programs distribute benefits, and calculating and reporting on reaching the 40-percent goal of the Justice40 Initiative.
    • Tribal Partnership Program - Non-Traditional Water Resources Development Projects
      This memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works directs USACE to implement the Tribal Partnership Program (TPP) more broadly to provide the Army the flexibility to include projects that are not typically considered a traditional Corps water resources development project. It also directs that TPP comprehensive guidance under development will incorporate these additional "non-traditional" activities under the Program.
    • Broadening Public Participation and Community Engagement in the Regulatory Process
      This memorandum provides guidance from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to all federal agencies on how, during the regulatory process, to "promote equitable and meaningful participation by a range of interested or affected parties," including members of underserved communities, as specified in Executive Order 14094, to the extent practicable and consistent with applicable law. For the USACE Planning Community, this memorandum will apply most directly to federal rulemaking actions - but the principles of public participation and community engagement, and awareness of barriers to participation, will be helpful in any planning process.
    • Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act
      This memorandum provides guidance from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on when and how the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) applies to Federal agency use of social media and web-based interactive technologies. In explains that under established principles, the PRA does not apply to many uses of such media and technologies.
    • Uniform Standards for Tribal Consultation
      This memorandum signed by President Biden establishes uniform minimum standards to be implemented across all Federal agencies regarding how Tribal consultations are to be conducted. The memorandum is designed to improve and streamline the consultation process for both Tribes and Federal participants, and ensure more consistency in how agencies initiate, provide notice for, conduct, record, and report on Tribal consultations. These are baseline standards; agencies are encouraged to build upon these standards to fulfill the goals and purposes of Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments, November 2000) consistent with their unique missions and engagement with Tribal Nations on agency-specific issues.
    • Final Guidance on Implementing the Plain Writing Act of 2010
      This memorandum rescinds and replaces Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-11-05, "Preliminary Guidance for the Plain Writing Act of 2010," issued on November 22, 2010. This final guidance does not make significant substantive changes from the preliminary guidance, but it does provide further clarification of key issues. Actions that agencies have taken under the preliminary guidance will provide the foundation for the agencies' implementation of this final guidance and of the Act's requirements.
    • Director of Civil Works Memorandum - Comprehensive Documentation of Benefits in Decision Documents
      This memorandum from the Director of Civil Works reiterates that the memorandum issued by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)) dated 5 January 2021, Subject: Policy Directive - Comprehensive Documentation of Benefits in Decision Document is effective immediately, and that all feasibility studies and post-authorization studies will comply with the ASA(CW) memorandum.
    • Interim Environmental Justice Guidance for Civil Works Planning Studies
      This memorandum provides guidance on and outlines the requirements for incorporating Environmental Justice into Civil Works planning studies based on the 15 March 2022 Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works memorandum, Implementation of Environmental Justice and the Justice40 Initiative.
    • USACE Floodplain Management Services and Planning Assistance to State Outreach Plan: Providing Technical Assistance to Underserved Communities
      This Outreach Plan was developed to provide a framework for implementation of Justice40 and the March 2022 Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works "Implementation of Environmental Justice and the Justice40 Initiative" memorandum. This plan stems from and complements the broader December 2022 USACE Interim Environmental Justice Strategic Plan: Community Outreach and Engagement and includes metrics to aid in tracking progress towards advancing environmental justice. Under the Justice40 initiative, the FPMS and PAS programs will strive to provide 40% of investments in climate and critical clean water and waste infrastructure in benefit of underserved communities.
    • Justice40 Initiative Covered Programs List for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Version 1.0
      This is the inaugural list of eleven USACE programs covered under the Justice40 Initiative. The Justice40 Initiative was established by President Biden in Executive Order 14008 on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Justice40 covered programs are Federal programs that make covered investments in any one of the following seven categories: climate change, clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and the development of critical clean water and wastewater infrastructure.

  • Resources
    • USACE Technical Assistance Programs
      This Headquarters webpage contains information about two USACE programs that make the agency's technical expertise available to support local communities: Planning Assistance to States (PAS) and Flood Plain Management Services (FPMS). Each USACE Technical Assistance program has its own specialization and requirements, but they are all geared towards assisting states, U.S. territories, Native American Tribes (Tribal Nations), and communities to identify planning-level solutions to address water resource problems.
    • Best Practices for Virtual Engagement
      This document guides USACE planners through key decisions when designing stakeholder engagement programs, with a focus on virtual outreach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report establishes guiding principles for effective stakeholder engagement and provides resources on collaborative technology tools and is appropriate for use by entry-level to senior planners.
    • Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX)
      The CPCX's mission is to enable Corps staff to anticipate, prevent, and manage water-related conflicts through collaboration while ensuring the interests of the public are addressed in a fair and transparent manner by: providing direct support to the field; building the Corps collaborative capacity; advising Corps leadership; and establishing the Corps as a thought-leader in collaboration. The CPCX webpage contains a wealth of information and resources related to collaboration and public participation, including guidance and policy documents, newsletters, links to other federal agency conflict resolution programs and resources, and descriptions of the CPCX's services.
    • CPCX Communication Plan Resources  Corps Castle
      This folder contains multiple resources for use by district personnel in developing communication plans, including a USACE Communication Planning Workbook annotated for Environmental Justice outreach.
    • Enhanced Engagement and Risk Communication for Underserved Communities: Research Findings and Emerging Best Practices
      Compilation of training, research, best practices, and lessons learned on coastal hazard risk communication with residents in underserved and underrepresented communities collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
    • Federal Collection of Information
      This White House webpage provides documents to assist in understanding and implementation of the collection of information by Federal agencies, including: Improving Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act; Small Business Paperwork Relief Act (SBPRA); Information Collection Review; and Paperwork Reduction Act Compliance.
    • Guide for Preparing District Environmental Justice Strategic Plan
      The Guide for Preparing District Environmental Justice Strategic Plans is intended to assist districts in the development of tailored plans, per the direction provided in the 16 December 2022 Director of Civil Works memorandum, Implementation of the Interim Environmental Justice Strategic Plan. The Guide includes specific instructions and a template (Section 5) for use by district personnel. Districts may adjust the template to their specific needs as each Area of Responsibility is unique; however, the primary components must be included as specified in the memorandum.
    • How to Plan a Water Resources Project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Tribal & Alaska Native Village Governments (5th Edition)
      The Tribal Nations Community of Practice has written this booklet to provide you, our Tribal partners, with a better understanding of how best to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Our processes and methods can be perceived as complex, and we hope to make them clearer for you.
    • Paperwork Reduction Act - Generic Clearances
      This memorandum outlines the availability and uses of "generic" Information Collection Requests (ICRs). Clearances of generic ICRs provide a significantly streamlined process by which agencies may obtain the Office of Management and Budget's approval for information collections-usually voluntary, low-burden, and uncontroversial collections. Generic ICRs are a useful way for agencies to meet the obligations of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) while eliminating unnecessary burdens and delays.
    • Partnering with the Corps
      Resources for states, tribes, and communities that wish to partner with USACE, including information, webinars, guidance, and models.
    • Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations
      Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations provides potential sponsors with information on the programs and processes available for non-federal partners and USACE representatives to work together to address the Nation's water resources problems. The Guide includes an overview of the USACE Civil Works Program and describes how USACE can work with local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies and other non-federal partners on activities ranging from technical services and advice to planning and constructing water resources projects. A previous version of this document was originally published as the Project Partnership Kit by IWR back in 1996 and revised in 2001.
    • Preparing for Effective Risk Communication
      Offered by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, this self-led training provides guidance for Planners to develop a risk communication strategy focused on, and designed to meet the needs of, a specific audience. Participants also learn how to listen more effectively, share information appropriately, and build relationships for improved conversations about hazards.
    • Risk Communication and Social Vulnerability: Guidance for Practitioners
      With funding support from USACE, the Natural Hazards Center produced an annotated bibliography and practitioner-oriented guide summarizing academic research and practical guidance on the topic of hazards and disaster risk communication, with a particular focus on socially vulnerable populations.
    • Shared Vision Planning
      Shared Vision Planning (SVP) is a collaborative approach to formulating water management solutions that combines three disparate practices: 1) traditional water resources planning, 2) structured public participation, and 3) collaborative computer modeling. IWR's SVP website includes tools, techniques, resources, references, and training materials. The USACE Shared Vision Planning webpage contains numerous SVP resources and tools, including methods, models, case studies, references, other educational material, and links to relevant training.
    • USACE Planning and Policy Division Environmental Justice Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
      This FAQ document provides situational information to planners and other members of PDTs to help clarify common issues that are being encountered on USACE Civil Works studies related to Environmental Justice topics. Where applicable, this document references existing policy and guidance; however, this document should not be used to support legal and policy review comments on draft or final reports.


  • Interest Based Negotiation (24 March)
    This webinar presented by the Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Center provided participants an opportunity to learn about interest-based negotiation and tools for transforming potential conflicts into jointly-developed solutions. Presenter Hal Cardwell (Director, Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise) instructed participants in how to move the conversation from “how to divide the pie” arguments among parties into collaborative “expand-the pie” solutions that meet the interests of the formerly competing parties. The webinar also led participants through an interactive case study as well as discussed real-world USACE examples of the power of moving from positions to interests.

  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (21 October)
    In celebration of Conflict Resolution Day 2021, this webinar provided practical application tips and an opportunity for conversation about negotiation and conflict resolution. Presented by Hunter Merritt (Social Scientist, Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise), the webinar included participants sharing their collective experiences in order to help others navigate project-related conflicts and improve efficiency, trust, processes, and project execution.
  • Alaska Native Cultures & Tribal Engagement (3 February)
    In this webinar, presenters Kelly Eldridge (Alaska District Archeologist) and Kendall Campbell (Alaska District Tribal Liaison) introduced background information on the history of Alaska Natives and the diversity of indigenous cultures in the state of Alaska. The presentation included helpful hints and best practices for successful engagements and working with Alaska Natives on Civil Works projects.

  • An Introduction to Communication Planning (2 April)
    This webinar introduced participants to the new USACE Integrated Communication Planning Process. The process, which is applicable across the enterprise, is the result of a collaborative effort between the Public Affairs Office (PAO) and the Project Management, Planning, and Collaboration and Public Participation Communities of Practice (CoPs). Topics addressed included how to identify stakeholders and potential issues, determining communication goals and objectives, and developing key messages and talking points. The webinar was presented by Bill Peoples (Nashville District Public Affairs Chief) and Jacqueline Tate (Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Public Affairs Chief).

  • Applied Learning Environments (12 December)
    This webinar provided an overview of Applied Learning Environments (ALEs) and how they can help the planning community build empathy and collaboration with stakeholders, facilitate the development of more innovative alternatives, and save both time and money during the planning process. ALEs are simulated environments designed to engage participants in active/applied learning to achieve specific learning objectives (e.g., ERDC Ship/Tow Simulator, emergency preparedness table top exercises, multi-hazard tournaments, etc.) The webinar was presented by John Kucharski (HEC, Senior Economist), Andrea Carson (LRP, Community Planner), and Hunter Merritt (SPK, Water Resources Planner) and included an ALE application in which webinar attendees participated.

  • Floodplain Management Plans, A Short Course (6 April)
    Brian Rast, with the Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise, Institute for Water Resources, presented an overview of floodplain management plans and described how development and implementation of these plans can contribute towards increased community resilience. Non-Federal interests are required to prepare and implement a floodplain management plan as part of construction of cost-shared flood risk management or coastal storm risk management project (Policy Guidance Letter 52). The presentation also shared examples of community-adopted floodplain management plans

  • Shared Vision Planning through the Multi-Hazard Tournament Framework (5 May)
    Dr. Harvey Hill (IWR), Marcia Hackett (Ft. Worth District), Michelle Hamor (Baltimore District), and Jason Smith (Rock Island District) shared their experiences with using the Multi-Hazard Tournament framework developed at IWR to engage communities and other state and federal agencies in planning and problem solving across multiple hazards / objectives.

  • SMART PLANNING & Effective Stakeholder Collaboration (9 June)
    Gigi Coulson (New Orleans District) and Joel Benegar (San Francisco District) provides updated recommendations on how to cost effectively and efficiently incorporate vital public and stakeholder involvement into our diverse array of SMART planning projects. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and we understand that without proper consideration of public involvement and stakeholder collaboration, our projects can be left with significant risks and uncertainties during our formal public reviews. This webinar will offer background about the challenge and importance of incorporating public involvement into our projects. It will also provide suggestions and possible strategies on how we might use existing collaborative tools to implement public involvement strategies and help your project avoid common pitfalls.
  • USACE Tribal Engagement and SMART Planning (2 April)
    Chris Koeppel, RPA, Mississippi Valley Division Archaeologist and Tribal Liaison, discussed opportunities and tools to integrate government-to-government consultation with Federally recognized tribes within the SMART Planning framework. His presentation also includes talking points for communication with Federally recognized tribes.

 Corps Castle Item is restricted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CAC required. Document will open in a new window.