Civil Works

The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division's Civil Works missions provide navigation, flood risk management, environmental, emergency response, recreation, hydropower, water supply and regulatory permits. 

  • Navigation - LRD has a robust navigation mission. The Great Lakes facilitate transport of vital commodities to and from the Nation’s heartland. Total annual commerce on the Great Lakes averages 175 million tons. LRD maintains operations along the Ohio River’s mainstem and its tributaries. The basin’s 2,582 miles of waterways carry 35 percent of the country’s waterborne commerce. 
  • Flood Risk Management -  LRD operates and maintains 84 dams and reservoirs to protect communities in the region. The majority are within the flood-prone Ohio River basin. Also, LRD has 539 miles of levees and over 100 local flood protection projects which include walls, levees and channel improvements. These projects have saved lives, homes, businesses and prevented over $39 billion in damages since 2012.
  • Environmental - LRD is charged with planning, design and construction of projects to restore and enhance aquatic ecosystems, including wetlands. LRD is responsible for the remediation of hazardous, toxic and radiological waste related to certain military activities under Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program and the Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Formerly Utilized Defense Sites.
  • Readiness and Contingency Operations - LRD is engaged in planning, training, and response activities for natural disasters, national emergencies, and civil support. The division provides technical assistance, temporary restoration of water supplies, wastewater treatment systems, drinkable water, power, temporary housing, debris removal, structure inspections, repairs to damaged streets, bridges, ports, waterways, airfields and other facilities necessary for emergency access to disaster victims.
  • Recreation - LRD provides 34 percent of the Corps’ total outdoor recreational opportunities. We manage 1.5M acres of land and water including 756 recreational sites that provide boating, swimming, hiking, camping, wildlife observation, hunting, and fishing. These areas receive more than 80 million visitors annually and generate 27,000 jobs in local communities.
  • Hydropower - LRD has ten federally-owned hydropower plants, 33 generating units with 935-megawatt generating capacity. All of this hydropower is produced at nine plants on the Cumberland River and one plant at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Also, LRD water resource projects have fifteen privately-developed plants and five under construction.
  • Water Supply - LRD makes real-time water resources decisions that directly affect people, the environment, and the nation’s economy. Every one of our multipurpose reservoirs has water used for many purposes including municipal water supply. Many communities along the Ohio River get their water from the river. 
  • Regulatory - Our mission is to provide strong protection of the Nation’s aquatic environment, efficient administration of the Corps’ regulatory program, and fair and reasonable decision-making for the public. Annually, LRD issues over 10,000 permits. MILITARY: LRD’s military missions provide engineering, construction, and real estate services to DOD installations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. We design and construct barracks, hospitals and airfields on military installations. Our Louisville District provides design and construction services for all Army and Air Force Reserve facilities throughout the United States.

Navigation Project Fact Sheets

Flood Risk Management Project Fact Sheets