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Environmental Restoration (Section 1135)

Under the authority provided by Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may plan, design and build modifications to existing USACE projects, or areas degraded by USACE projects, to restore aquatic habitats for fish and wildlife. Projects conducted in New England under this program have included salt marsh and salt pond restoration, estuary restoration, freshwater wetland restoration, anadromous fish passage, and river restoration. Projects must be in the public interest and cost effective and are limited to $10 million in Federal cost.

Project Process.  The process for Section 1135 projects begins after a non-federal sponsor requests USACE assistance under the program. When funding is available, USACE prepares a feasibility study, beginning with an estimate of the overall scope and cost of the study and a determination of whether the project is in the federal interest. The feasibility study formulates alternatives to achieve the restoration, evaluates the environmental effects of the alternatives, documents the project requirements, and provides a scope and cost estimate for project implementation. If the feasibility report recommends a plan for implementation, USACE prepares detailed project plans and specifications and obtains any required federal permits. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers then manages construction of the project by a private contractor.

Cost Sharing Requirements. USACE provides the first $100,000 of study costs. A non-Federal sponsor must contribute 50 percent of the cost of the feasibility study after the first $100,000 of expenditures, 25 percent of the cost of design and construction, and 100 percent of the cost of operation and maintenance. The sponsor receives a credit for the value of real estate necessary to implement the project. The non-Federal share of the feasibility study cost may be credited as work in kind, but, to receive credit, the services must be provided after a formal Feasibility Study Cost Sharing Agreement is signed. Up to 100 percent of the non-Federal share of the design and implementation cost may be credited as work in kind after a Project Cooperation Agreement is signed.


Study Cost

The feasibility study is cost shared 50 percent Federal / 50 percent Non-Federal after the first $100,000 in study costs. The first $100,000 in study cost is Federally funded.

Project Cost

Design and construction costs are 75 percent Federal / 25 percent non-Federal



How to Request Assistance. Requests for assistance should be in the form of a letter describing the location and nature of the problem and requesting assistance under the program. The request should be submitted by a state or local government agency* to Ms. Wendy Gendron, Chief, Planning Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. For more information call Janet Cote, Environmental Restoration Program Manager at 978-318-8728.


*Non-Federal sponsors must be public agencies or national non-profit organizations capable of undertaking future requirements for operation, maintenance, repair, replacement and rehabilitation (OMRR&R), or may be any non-profit organization if there are no future requirements for OMRR&R. All potential sponsors must be able to provide any required lands, easements, rights-of-way, relocations, and dredged or excavated material disposal areas (LERRD).

Sample Letter of Intent for Section 1135 - Environmental Restoration


Updated May 23,2023