Land Use

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District has real estate interests over lands for various purposes, including operations and maintenance of its navigation and flood risk management projects. These interests include fee ownership, perpetual easements, navigational servitude, rights-of-way, etc.

Non-federal entities often wish to gain access to these lands for various purposes. Some examples of these non-federal uses include: installation of temporary structures, staging areas for non-federal projects, installation of pipelines, disposal of dredged material, agricultural and recreational uses, etc.

Coordination with the Galveston District is required in order to use these lands. Depending on the scope and location of the non-federal project, coordination with one, or all, of the following Galveston District offices may be required: Regulatory Division (Department of the Army Permits), Real Estate Division (Outgrants) and/or Operations Division (Section 408 Reviews).

For more information on the Regulatory and Real Estate Divisions, scroll to the bottom of the page. 


Operations Division

Coordination with the Galveston District Operations Division ‘will’ be required under Section 408 Authority if the proposed non-Federal project is anticipated to interfere with the Operations and Maintenance of a Federal Navigation or Flood Risk Management Project.  Although the Galveston District Real Estate Office will ultimately issue the Outgrant for use of Federal lands, if the non-Federal entity anticipates that their proposed project may interfere with Federal Operations and Maintenance, it is recommended that the respective Operations Manager be contacted in advance of submitting the Real Estate Application

About Section 408: 

The USACE Section 408 program allows another party, such as a local government, company, or individual, to alter a USACE Civil Works project. Given the widespread locations of these projects, many embedded within communities, over time there may be a need to either alter or occupy these projects and their associated lands. Reasons for alterations could include improvements to the projects, relocation of part of the project, or installing utilities or other non - project features. 

What is Section 408 Authority?:    

The Section 408 program verifies that changes to authorized USACE Civil Works projects will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project. This requirement was established in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which has since been amended several times, and is codified at 33 U.S.C. 408–the section of U.S. Code that gives the program its name.

What is a Section 408 Review?:

A Section 408 review consists of a multi-disciplined engineering, environmental, real estate, and legal evaluation. Flood Risk Management review includes Construction oversight.  The Galveston District Commander, or the Commander’s designee, has the authority to render decisions on Section 408 requests for alterations to USACE Civil Works projects that do not require review and decision by the USACE Southwestern Division Commander.

Real Estate Division

Coordination with the Galveston District Real Estate Division Office ‘will’ be required in order to obtain an Outgrant.  Requesting as Outgrant is initiated by the non-Federal entity by completing and submitting a Real Estate Application.  The Galveston District Real Estate Application can be found on the Real Estate webpage

Regulatory Division

Coordination with the Galveston Regulatory Division Office ‘will’ be required if the non-Federal project proposes work in, or around, Waters of the United States and/or Wetland areas.  The non-Federal entity must coordinate directly with the Galveston District Regulatory Division to determine whether a USACE Regulatory Permit is required for the project.  If required, the USACE Regulatory Permit must be obtained prior to requesting a USACE Outgrant.

Navigation Setbacks

The intent of these Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is to provide a rapid and repeatable procedure for evaluating the construction of structures and/or the deposition of dredge and fill along federally maintained channels in order to preserve the government's ability to maintain such waterway and provide a margin of safety to those who use such waterway by maintaining established setbacks from federal channels. These SOPs apply to all Department of the Army permit applications pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1899 and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Graphic representations of the established setback lines are available for viewing in Google Earth. To download a free version of Google Earth or for further information on operating Google Earth, click here.