U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Education Center
Transporting products by water has played a major role in history.
Navigating ships within waterways is essential to commerce and quality of life.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains
navigation waterways throughout the United States
much like road crews maintain highways. These waterways include the nation's deep-draft
harbors that serve the seaborne commerce and smaller harbors for a variety of recreational
and commercial purposes. The Corps has also built an intracoastal and inland network of
channels with locks and dams for navigation. These waterways must be kept at the appropriate
depth and width so ships and other watercraft can move safely and easily. Waterway improvements
may include building breakwaters and jetties to protect homes and businesses from crashing waves.
Several methods of dredging can be used to remove the sediments from the waterways. The dredged
sediments are frequently used for other beneficial uses such as creating islands and wetlands or
Established: April 23, 2002
Updated: August 2004
Comments/Whom to contact