Corps of Engineers releases Climate Change Adaptation, Strategic Sustainability plans

By Dave FosterNovember 3, 2014

An iceberg floats past an ice shelf
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2014) -- The United States Army Corps of Engineers today released its Climate Change Adaptation Plan and annual Strategic Sustainability Plan in response to Executive Orders 13514 and 13653.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been factoring climate change and its impacts in to all its missions and operations for decades," said Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers senior sustainability officer. "The Corps of Engineers is working with the Obama Administration to identify and address the existing and future risks and vulnerabilities of climate change and ensure that communities and ecosystems are protected and flourish."

"We are making sustainability a part of all the decisions we make in designing, constructing, and managing water infrastructure," she explained. "In the coming years we will reduce greenhouse gas emission, reduce non-tactical vehicle petroleum consumption, and increase renewable electricity consumption."

The sustainability plan provides an overview of how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste and saving energy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is concentrating on several focus areas, to include implementing energy and water conservation measures; implementing a non-tactical vehicle fleet management plan; implementing not less than $10 million in energy performance contracts in support of the President's Performance Contracting Challenge; and influencing visitors' behavior at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation facilities to reduce energy and water consumption.

The GreenGov Presidential Awards ceremony is taking place at the White House today to honor exceptional Federal personnel, teams, projects and facilities, and programs that exemplify President Obama's charge to lead by example in sustainability. Former Corps of Engineers employee, William D. Goran, who served as the director of the Center for the Advancement of Sustainability Innovations for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, is being recognized as the Climate Champion.

The Climate Change Adaptation Plan assesses key vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change -- such as severe weather, sea level rise, or flooding -- and outlines how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to address those impacts to protect its missions. It describes activities that evaluate the most significant climate change related risks to agency operations and missions both in the short and long term. It outlines actions the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking to manage these risks and vulnerabilities.

"The release of these two plans demonstrates the focus the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is placing on sustainability and on mainstreaming climate change adaptation for our constructed and natural water-resources infrastructure," said Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, chief of engineers and commanding general, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. "Addressing sustainability and climate change are critical for us as an organization and the important work we do for the nation now and into the future."

Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are engaging in external collaboration, improving their understanding of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, and developing new policy and guidance to support adaptation implementation based on the best available and actionable science.

Related Links:

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Climate Change Adaptation Plan (PDF)

2014 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (PDF)

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