U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases national Recreation Strategic Plan
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a Recreation Strategic Plan that seeks to transform and reposition the recreation program while maintaining its role as a major federal, water-based recreation provider.
The corps hosts more than 370 million visits annually at its 422 lake and river projects in 43 states. Visitation has steadily increased in recent years resulting in increased demands on resources and facilities and this upward trend is forecasted to continue. Conversely, recreation program budgets have steadily declined.
The Strategic Plan provides field managers with a framework to address these challenges and guide them in making decisions to implement sound fiscal operations, pursue new partnerships and leases, promote environmental sustainability and strengthen the recreation workforce.
The plan identifies a set of ongoing or potential actions to include:
- A regional look at providing facilities and services.
- New and innovative types of partnerships.
- Increasing opportunities for volunteers to support the delivery of recreation to the public.
- Adjusting opportunities and facilities mix to meet demand within projected budgets.
- Improving communications and public outreach.
- Building on USACE’s unique relationship with the military to support their readiness and resilience.
- Promoting environmentally sustainable behavior.
- Preserving public access to the water.
- Improving efficient delivery of recreation services.
- Enhancing community-based stewardship opportunities at USACE Projects.
- Identifying the need for revised authorities and policies.
The plan allows USACE to continue to provide places for people to enjoy safe and accessible water-based recreational opportunities; protect valuable public land and waters resources; build healthy communities by engaging the public in outdoor activities; and become an attractive partner to collaborate with communities and stakeholders.
“We are proud of the long history of recreation services that USACE has provided to the public. In order to continue to do that in a quality manner in the future, we must be flexible and adaptable. This plan provides our managers, districts and regions the guidance to move in the right direction,” said Michael G. Ensch, Chief, Operations & Regulatory Community of Practice, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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