USACE looks to highlight long term assistance programs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published June 6, 2017
Stone rip rap placed along the Lake Erie shoreline of the Hospice of Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH under the Corps of Engineers Continuing Authorities Program, Section 14 for stream bank and shoreline erosion protection of public works and non-profit public services.

Stone rip rap placed along the Lake Erie shoreline of the Hospice of Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH under the Corps of Engineers Continuing Authorities Program, Section 14 for stream bank and shoreline erosion protection of public works and non-profit public services.

BUFFALO, New York – Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, is looking to emphasize post flood event outreach efforts for long term assistance through established Corps of Engineers authorities.

Local, county and state officials can request long term assistance measures through the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), Planning Assistance to States and through the Interagency and International Services Program. Each program offers many partnership opportunities on flood risk mitigation, shoreline protection, preparing plans to manage water and related land resources, and relief and recovery work to name a few examples.

“We will continue to provide technical assistance in support of the state-led response for as long as this assistance is required but we also want to start looking at Corps of Engineers programs that address long-term solutions,” said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, USACE Buffalo District Commander. “Our mission includes reducing disaster risk and we look forward to working with our local and state partners to increase shoreline resiliency on Lake Ontario once we transition to recovery operations.”

Individual residents cannot apply for these programs but are encouraged to work with their government officials on the planning process.

Continuing Authorities Program

The Continuing Authorities Program provides the Corps of Engineers with the authority to plan, design and construct water-resource projects including flood-risk management, coastal protection and ecosystem restoration in partnership with local sponsors without the need to obtain specific Congressional authorization.

The program decreases the amount of time required to budget, develop and approve a potential project for construction. CAP allows the Corps of Engineers to plan and implement smaller, less complex and less costly projects in a more efficient manner. CAP projects have two phases, a feasibility phase followed by a design, and an implementation phase.

The Corps of Engineers has the technical expertise to plan, design and construct these types of coastal and shoreline erosion protection projects to last in excess of 50 years,” said Craig Forgette, USACE Buffalo District CAP Program Manager. “The federal government provides half the cost share for feasibility studies, and 65% federal funds for design and construction.”

CAP Section 14, Stream Bank and Shoreline Protection, and Section 103, Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction, could be opportunities for future projects. CAP projects normally take two to three years for the feasibility study, under a year for design, and one year to construct. 

Link to CAP website with brochures and sample submission letters:

 Planning Assistance to States and Indian Nations

The Planning Assistance to States is an authority which enables the Corps of Engineers to prepare a variety of comprehensive water related studies for the development and conservation of water resources. 

Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources Development Act provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Planning Assistance to the States and Indian Nations. The program is used to prepare plans to manage water and related land resources. Federal appropriations vary from year to year. There is a maximum of $2,000,000 per state or Indian nation per year to work on past studies.

This authority is cost shared on a 50% federal and 50% non-federal basis. This authority does not lead to construction.

USACE Buffalo District Community Planner Laura Ortiz said, “The benefit of this authority is that it utilizes the expertise of the Corps of Engineers to assist a community in the preparation of a study which will address a specific water resources issue.”

Depending on the scope of the study, a study can generally be completed between six to 12 months after the memorandum of understanding is executed and the non-federal contribution (cash or in-kind services) is received.

For more information visit:

Interagency and International Services (IIS)

Interagency and International Services (IIS) is the Corps of Engineers program providing technical assistance to non-Department of Defense (DOD) federal agencies, state and local governments, tribal nations, international organizations, and foreign governments.

Most IIS work is funded on a reimbursable basis. The Corps of Engineers provides engineering and construction services, environmental restoration and management services, research and development assistance, management of water and land related natural resources, relief and recovery work, and other management and technical services.

“The (USACE) Buffalo District provides on-demand engineering capabilities and contracting to support other agencies with mission critical project requirements that may not have the in-house staff or contractors available to execute the projects,” said Ken Podsiadlo, USACE Buffalo District Supervisory Civil Engineer. “We have mostly done work with federal agencies. The Corps of Engineers can also support requests from state or local agencies.”

The flexibility of the IIS program allows the Corps of Engineers to be able to assist partners with a large variety of missions. Buffalo District's typical IIS work is related to facilities, environmental services, dive team, and geographical information systems, but the Corps of Engineers can provide assistance in any areas where our project management, engineering, environmental, and other technical skills can be utilized.

For more information visit:

Coastal Resiliency Study

The Army Corps of engineers is also partnering with sister federal agencies and all eight Great Lakes states to secure funding for a Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study. The goal of the study is to assess vulnerabilities and identify measures to improve economic and environmental resiliency along the over 5,000 miles of Great Lakes coastline.

“A resilient coast can withstand threats that come with living along a shoreline,” said Czekanski. “We are committed to continuing to work with our partners to better serve and protect the public.”