The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' involvement in navigation projects dates back to the early days of the United States when rivers and waterways were the primary paths of commerce. The system of rivers, lakes, harbors, and waterways located within the Mobile District remain one of the most important parts of the region's and nation's transportation systems today. The Corps of Engineers maintains them as a safe, reliable, and economically efficient navigation system.
The Mobile District's primary navigation responsibilities include planning, constructing, operating and maintaining navigation channels, locks and dams and dredging to maintain authorized channel depths in harbors and inland waterways. In fulfilling this mission, the district maintains several high profile coastal harbors and inland waterways in the Southeast including deep draft harbors at Mobile, Pascagoula, Gulfport, Pensacola and Panama City as well as high use waterways such as the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway.
Nationally, the Corps operates and maintains 25,000 miles of navigable channels and 196 commercial lock and dam sites and is responsible for ports and waterways in 41 states. In partnership with local port authorities, Corps personnel oversee construction and dredging projects at hundreds of ports and harbors at an average annual cost of nearly $1.5 billion. The Corps of Engineers dredges nearly 300 million cubic yards of material each year to keep the nation's waterways navigable. Much of this dredged material is reused for environmental restoration projects, including the creation of wetlands.