GALVESTON, Texas (Aug. 18, 2014) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District offers a variety of federal programs to assist the public with the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, use and conservation of water and related land resources along the Texas coast. These programs are either available on a 50 percent federal/50 percent non-federal cost-shared basis or offered free of charge.
“These programs give the Galveston District the ability to deliberately plan for future coastal projects,” said Robert Thomas, Hydraulics and Hydrology-Water Management Branch chief. “Working with our non-federal partners in the region we can better understand how projects relate to each other and large-scale physical processes. We use the information gained through these programs to make better and faster decisions when feasibility or construction funds become available.”
Flood Plain Management Services Program: This program provides a full range of technical services and planning guidance needed to support effective floodplain management (funding cannot support construction). 100 percent federally funded, the program develops or interprets site-specific data on obstructions to flood flows, flood formation and timing, flood depths or stages, floodwater velocities and the extent, duration and frequency of flooding. It also provides information on natural and cultural floodplain resources before and after the use of floodplain management measures. Special studies can range from helping a community identify present or future floodplain areas to abroad assessment of the various floodplain management alternatives. Some of the most common types of special studies include:
o Comprehensive Floodplain Management
o Dam Break Analysis
o Flood Warning/Preparedness
o Floodplain Delineation/Flood Hazard Evaluation
o Hydrologic, Hydraulic and Sediment Transport Modeling
o Regulatory Floodway
o Storm Water Management
o Urbanization Impact
Hydrologic Studies Program: This program authorizes the USACE to collect and analyze basic data on hydrologic, climatologic and morphology for general use in connection with other USACE projects. Studies can investigate storms, general hydrology, sedimentation and streamflow including data collection. The district has not had a new study under this program in recent years however, the authority remains. A surge in funding programs like this could help maintain technical expertise of USACE planning studies under the new 3x3 study guidelines (a Corps requirement that all feasibility studies be completed in three years for $3 million or less.) This program is 100 percent federally funded.
Monitoring Completed Navigation Projects: This program evaluates the performance of completed civil works navigation projects. Shallow- and deep-draft navigation projects located in rivers, reservoirs, lakes, estuaries and the coastal zone may be considered for monitoring. The program can monitor only completed projects operated and/or maintained by the USACE operation and maintenance funds and projects must be directly related to navigation or be mitigation for navigation. Data, models and analyses completed under this program are applied to drastically reduce the cost of future studies. The program is 100 percent federally funded and led by the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center.
Planning Assistance to States Program: Cost shared on a 50 percent federal/50 percent non-federal basis (up to $500,000 annually), the program authorizes planning studies to help develop solutions to problems identified by the non-federal partner. The program can encompass many types of studies dealing with water resources issues and include the following:
o Coastal Zone Management/Protection Studies
o Dam Safety/Failure Studies
o Environmental Conservation/Restoration Studies
o Flood Damage Reduction Studies
o Flood Plain Management Studies
o Harbor/Port Studies
o Water Quality Studies
o Water Supply and Demand Studies
o Wetlands Evaluation Studies
Regional Sediment Management Program: This program refers to the management of nearshore, estuarine and riverine sediment within physical boundaries where sediment exchange occurs naturally. A region may include a variety of beaches, bluffs, inlets, rivers, estuaries, bays and communities. Corps laboratories, along with partners from federal, state and regional governments and academia are pursuing a rigorous investigation of a regional sediment management approach to solving sediment related problems. Major products resulting from the research include a watershed sediment budget tool that can be used to rapidly assess the impacts of upstream watershed activities on downstream channels; morphology modeling systems for coast and river systems that predict long-term, large-scale morphology changes and a framework for developing RSM plans and implementing RSM in the field. RSM focus areas include river-basin morphology modeling and management; coastal morphology modeling and management; sediment processes and assessment and sediment management methods. All of the products and tools developed under the RSM Program are free to the public online at http://rsm.usace.army.mil/. Each year the program accepts proposals to study RSM-related problems, typically up to $100,000 per study (with 100 percent federal funding). Ideas for RSM proposals on the Texas coast should be sent to RSM Program Manager Tricia Campbell at Tricia.C.Campbell@usace.army.mil.
Contact Robert Thomas at Robert.C.Thomas@usace.army.mil for more information about these programs. For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.