Remedial Action Plans

This program enables the Corps of Engineers to provide technical assistance to state and local agencies or non-profit organizations for the development or implementation of Remedial Action Plans at Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs).  Technical assistance has already been provided to 21 AOCs. 

This assistance has included:

    • planning and design of sediment remediation actions;
    • planning and design of habitat restoration actions;
    • water quality and/or sediment transport modeling;
    • collection of physical, chemical and biological data;
    • outreach support;
    • cost estimating, and;
    • construction management

RAP technical assistance requires a non-federal partner to provide cost-sharing (35%) as cash or in-kind services. 

Visit our page on Remedial Action Plans for more information.

Remedial Action Plan Section 401


The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, an international treaty between the United States and Canada, designated 43 Areas of Concern around the Great Lakes where beneficial uses of the lakes and tributaries were impaired. Fourteen use impairments were identified, included restrictions on consumption of fish and wildlife, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, restrictions on dredging activities, and beach closings.

Annex 2 of the Agreement directed that the Governments of the U.S. and Canada cooperate with State and Provincial Governments to ensure that Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were developed and implemented for each Area of Concern.

Remedial Action Plans are to be developed in three stages. The first stage RAP identifies the beneficial uses that are impaired, defines the causes of use impairments and sources of pollutants. The second stage RAP evaluates various remedial measures to restore beneficial uses, identifies the selected measures and identifies persons or agencies responsible for implementation. The third stage RAP provides monitoring and surveillance information to demonstrate that the beneficial uses have been restored.


In the Water Resources Development Act of 1990, Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support the development and implementation of Remedial Action Plans at U.S. Areas of Concern on the Great Lakes. Section 401 of this Act enables the Corps to provide technical support to State and local governments.

RAP support may include a variety of technical services, including:

  • physical and environmental monitoring
  • remedial planning and design
  • construction management
  • development of geographic information systems (GIS)
  • computer modeling and analysis
  • cost estimating
  • real estate and public outreach support

Under this authority, the Corps has provided support to RAPs at the following Areas of Concern:

  • Ashtabula River, Ohio
  • Grand Calumet River, Indiana
  • Waukegan Harbor, Illinois
  • Detroit River, Michigan
  • Muskegon Lake, Michigan
  • White Lake, Michigan

This is not a grant program and a cost-sharing agreement is required. Partners may include state or local governmental agencies or non-profit organizations. Support is provided by Corps districts and their contractors. Support is cost-shared 65/35. The non-Federal share may come from state and local agencies, non-profit groups or private sources. In addition, the non-Federal share may include "services in-kind" in lieu of cash.

To utilize this program, prospective partners should contact the appropriate Corps district office to discuss the type and scope of support desired. The district office will develop a budget, schedule and cost-sharing agreement for approval by the sponsor.

In the Fiscal Year 2000 Appropriations, Congress has provided $420,000 of Federal funds for RAP support. Currently, Corps districts are negotiating with state and local partners for support to RAPs at the following Areas of Concern:

  • Muskegon Lake, Michigan
  • White Lake, Michigan
  • Detroit River, Michigan
  • Grand Calumet River, Indiana
  • Maumee River, Ohio
  • Cuyahoga River, Ohio