2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Posted on: 12/22/2021 - Updated on: 7/01/2022

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) works closely with our non-federal cost-sharing partners to plan, design, and construct projects to address our nation’s toughest water resource challenges. Many of these federally authorized projects are ultimately owned, operated and maintained by our non-federal partners. Strong partnerships with other federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies and program and project stakeholders are critical to ensuring we understand and meet our shared responsibility to address the issues posed by a changing climate.

This USACE Climate Action Plan details the USACE commitment to integrate the best available observed and forward-looking climate information into its missions, programs, and management functions, as allowed within relevant authorities. This plan describes how climate effects and vulnerabilities are and will be considered in USACE decision-making for managing procurement, real property, and public lands and waters. The USACE Climate Action Plan builds on prior adaptation plans to create a streamlined strategy consisting of five priority adaptation actions:

  • Action 1: MODERNIZE USACE programs and policies to support climate-resilient investments
  • Action 2: MANAGE USACE lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience
  • Action 3: ENABLE state, local, and tribal government preparedness
  • Action 4: PROVIDE actionable climate information, tools, and projections
  • Action 5: PLAN for climate change-related risks to USACE missions and operations

This plan also addresses three specific topic areas of USACE climate action:

  • Topic Area 1: UPDATES to USACE climate vulnerability assessments
  • Topic Area 2: EFFORTS to enhance USACE climate literacy in its management workforce
  • Topic Area 3: ACTIONS to enhance the climate resilience of USACE sites, facilities, and supply chains


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) first established an overarching USACE Climate Change Adaptation Policy Statement and governance structure to support mainstreaming adaptation in 2011. For the past decade, USACE policy has required the agency to mainstream climate change preparedness and resilience in all USACE activities—while considering adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change together—to help improve the resilience of USACE-built and natural water-resource infrastructure, enhance the effectiveness of USACE military mission support, and reduce potential vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change and variability. In carrying out its climate policy and conforming to Department of Defense (DOD) and Army policy, USACE seeks to ensure the principles of Environmental Justice are integrated into its operations and activities by providing meaningful engagement and evaluating (and mitigating if required) impacts to environmental justice communities.

Agency Policy for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

  • The USACE policy on climate adaptation is formalized in the USACE Climate Adaptation Policy Statement attached to this plan. It is USACE policy to integrate climate adaptation preparedness and resilience planning and actions, and that mitigation and adaptation investments and responses to climate change should be considered together. This policy reaffirms and supersedes the 2014 USACE Climate Adaptation Policy Statement
  • The June 2015 update to the USACE Climate Change Adaptation Plan is the immediate predecessor to the present plan. That adaptation plan detailed the agency’s vision, goals, and priority areas for climate adaptation. It also identified climate impacts to agency missions, activities to mitigate those impacts, and efforts to address risks and opportunities presented by climate change

Agency Official for Climate Change Adaptation

  • The senior point of contact for climate preparedness and resilience is the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
  • The senior official responsible for executing climate preparedness and resilience across USACE is the Chief, Engineering and Construction, who oversees the Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice


Climate Action Plan: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. 2021. Prepared per Executive Order 14008. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. https://www.sustainability.gov/pdfs/usace-2021-cap.pdf

Affiliated Organizations

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approximately 34,000 dedicated Civilians and Soldiers delivering engineering services to customers in more than 90 countries worldwide.

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