The Baltimore District provides water resource planning and engineering design and construction support focused on navigation, flood risk management and environmental restoration. Our work includes construction and operation of dams that support life and property safety, provide recreation, environmental stewardship, and water supply; dredging of major waterways; and construction of local flood risk management projects.
Our civil works boundaries, covering the Chesapeake Bay Basin and the Susquehanna and Potomac river watersheds, extend from Maryland to New York. In total, the district’s responsibilities cover 49,000 square miles in six states and the District of Columbia, two watersheds, and 7,000 miles of coastline. Along these waterways, the Baltimore District operates and maintains 290 miles of federal navigation channels, 148 miles of federally-constructed levees, and 15 federal flood risk management dams and reservoirs.
As a result, the Baltimore District has prevented $16 billion in flood damages, is restoring approximately 600 acres of oyster habitat and is also restoring 1,140 acres of remote islands.
Major projects are highlighted in the below sections. To view all of the district projects, please visit the Baltimore District Fact Sheet portal.
The Baltimore District regulates 16 multi-purpose reservoirs in the States of Maryland, West Virginia, and New York as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The dams at each reservoir were designed and constructed by the Baltimore District, and all are currently operated and maintained by the District with the exception of Savage River Dam (operated by the Upper Potomac River Commission).
All 16 dams were built primarily for flood risk management. Other project purposes include recreation, water supply, water quality, hydroelectric power, and low flow augmentation. Additional information on recreation opportunities at each reservoir can be found here.
Baltimore District hydraulic engineers monitor water levels in the region’s major rivers and regulate Corps-managed dams and reservoirs to minimize downstream impacts. Data from satellite imagery and river gages, as well as real-time reports from its field personnel on the ground, help to make decisions on when to open and close the gates at the dams. District dam operators are onsite inspecting and monitoring the performance of the dams, and taking the necessary action to ensure the safety of the surrounding communities.
Jennings Randolph Lake
The Baltimore District is authorized to investigate and perform studies related to core mission areas including navigation, flood risk management, and ecosystem restoration, to determine if congressional authorization and implementation are warranted. Civil Works Planning is the start of the “pipeline” for addressing water resources needs. All projects start with Baltimore District planners answering the questions of Federal interest, engineering feasibility, economic justification and environmental acceptability.
Planners work with multi-disciplinary study teams to identify water resources problems, conceive solutions, resolve conflicting interests, and shape recommendations. The team will also assess the likelihood that a non-federal interest can be identified, willing to pay their share of the project cost per federal cost-sharing requirements.
The District conducts a broad range of studies, including studies leading to new projects that require congressional authorization, studies involving evaluation and design of projects under continuing authorities, and reexaminations of existing projects.
The Corps provides strong technical services through a variety of programs to address an array of water resources issues in the Chesapeake Bay region. The National Hurricane, Continuing Authorities, Rehabilitation and Inspection, Floodplain Management Services, Planning Assistance to States, and Silver Jackets programs grant the Corps the ability to provide technical water resources services through federal funding or a combination of federal and local funding. Click here to view a booklet that showcases one unique project for each state and the District of Columbia in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
For more information pertaining to policy, guidance, processes, and tools that are used every day by the District in project planning, please visit our Planning Toolbox.
Lower Susquehanna River
Chesapeake Bay Program
Technical Service Programs
Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan
A Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) is a legally-binding agreement between the Government and a non-federal sponsor (state, municipal government, flood control district, port authority, etc.) for construction of a water resources project. It describes the project and the responsibilities of the Government and the non-federal sponsor in the cost-sharing and execution of work. For more info on PPAs, click here.
Below is an interactive list of Baltimore District water resources PPAs. To access:
- Search key words using the Search window to find PPAs by project name. To clear the results, click Reset Search. Result list will take you back to the top of the page, please scroll back down to the PPA module.
- Page through the full contents of the list by using the controls at the lower right corner of the table.
By default, this list is sorted in alphabetical order by project title.
The Baltimore District provides construction oversight and management for a variety of Civil Works projects. We handle all matters relating to construction, including contract advertisement and award, construction execution and contract close out. Typically, a private contractor is hired to perform the actual construction with District oversight.
Prior to award, the plans and specifications are reviewed from a construction quality management perspective. The awarded project is administered to ensure contract compliance and quality and, after completion, the District handles warranty inspections. We preserve a close relationship with the local sponsor for each project, to ensure that their interests are understood and appropriately addressed.
With a multi-discipline staff located at our District headquarters, as well as field offices throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, providing on-site representation, the District has the capability and experience in administering various types of contract procurement methods. This includes traditional formal bid, negotiated proposal, design-build, indefinite quantity, incentive type and cost reimbursable contracts.
The Baltimore District has 148 miles of Federally-built levees that help manage flood risk in southern New York, central Pennsylvania, Maryland, northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Every year, teams with special training and equipment conduct annual inspections by walking the levees to ensure they would perform as designed in case of a high-water event. These teams also conduct periodic inspections every five years for a more in-depth review. All inspections are done in coordination with the local sponsor. Detailed reports following the inspections are given to the sponsor for any follow-up actions.
The results of Corps levee inspections help determine continued eligibility as part of the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP), which is the Corps’ authority to provide federal aid in repairing levees damaged by floods or storms.
Inspections also provide a better picture of levee conditions and an opportunity in our shared efforts with state and local authorities to communicate flood risk and make informed decisions on how best to manage it.
View more info on Baltimore District levees.