President's FY16 Budget for USACE Civil Works released

Published Feb. 5, 2015

Galveston, Texas (Feb. 5, 2015) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will receive new feasibility funding for the Houston Ship Channel and Coastal Texas studies; continued funding for the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay study; construction funding for Addicks and Barker Dams and Greens Bayou in Houston, as well as continued Operation and Maintenance funding for the Texas waterways in the president’s fiscal year 2016 budget for the Corps’ Civil Works program.

“The district’s programs are well funded in FY15 with potential growth in FY16 particularly with respect to our Construction General and General Investigations funding,” said Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander. “In 2014 Congress authorized a total of nine new starts across the country; two of those are in the Galveston District. This year we will be moving forward into the feasibility phase of both Houston-Galveston Ship Channel improvement and Coastal Texas storm damage reduction studies.”

General Investigation studies refer to the traditional and most common way for the Corps to assist a community in addressing large-scale, complex water resource problems. A General Investigation study often begins with a request for assistance from a community or a local or state government entity with a water resource need (navigation, flood protection or ecosystem restoration) beyond its capability. Before initiating a study, the Corps generally requires two types of congressional authority - authorization and appropriations. Once the study is authorized and funds are appropriated, the project will advance through two phases using General Investigation funding: feasibility and preconstruction engineering and design.  If the study is approved by Congress, additional authorization and appropriations must occur for construction to begin.

"The 2016 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the administration's priorities to support and improve the nation's economy, protect the American people and restore our environment," said the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works. "This budget supports the core mission areas of coastal and inland navigation, reducing flood and storm risks and restoring aquatic ecosystems.”

According to Bill Wise, chief of the Project Management Branch for the USACE Galveston District, the funding will enable staff to work with non-federal partners to continue ongoing studies and design on various projects.

“It will allow us to initiate new studies and design as well as assess opportunities to provide navigation improvements, flood risk management, restoration, protection of marshes, national seashores, wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas along the Texas coast,” said Wise.

Sharon Tirpak, USACE Galveston District project manager, is tasked with overseeing the feasibility phase of the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Study and is collaborating with non-federal sponsors to identify shared objectives for managing Texas coastal priorities on current and future potential cost shared studies/projects. 

“The Galveston District received $583,000 for the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay study, which along with matching non-federal funds will be used to continue with the feasibility phase of the project,” said Tirpak. “The feasibility phase is looking at a comprehensive characterization of the upper Texas coast with detailed evaluation of the Orange, Jefferson and Brazoria counties for coastal storm risk management opportunities.” 

The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 250 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight.

View the FY16 Civil Works budget online at, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books. For more news and information about the USACE Galveston District visit Find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter,

Release no. 15-004