The Civil Works Program of the Army Corps of Engineers focuses on responsible development, protection and restoration of the Nation's water and related land resources. Civil Works projects are implemented and operated for commercial navigation, flood risk management, environmental restoration, hydroelectric power, recreation, and municipal and industrial water supply. In addition to these direct Federal investments, the Civil Works Program includes an important regulatory mission whereby the Corps regulates construction in navigable waters and the deposition of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States, including wetlands.The Civil Works Program also includes disaster preparedness response and recovery missions, under the Corps own authority (Public Law 84-99). In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated the Corps as the lead agent for public works and engineering in support of FEMA's Federal Response Framework (Public Law 93-288).

The Civil Works Program receives its authority principally through Water Resources Development Acts and Federal funding through annual Energy and Water Development Appropriations Acts. The program also receives funding from non-Federal sponsors who share in project costs according to formulas established in authorization acts. A third source of funding is the Interagency and International Services Program through which work is carried under reimbursable agreements, primarily with other Federal agencies. The Army receives budget and personnel allocations for the Civil Works Program directly from the Office of Management and Budget.

The Corps is one of the world's largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies. Military and civilian engineers, scientists, and a wide range of other specialists work together in division and district offices located throughout the world and in several research and development laboratories and other offices. The Corps has evolved over time in response to changing societal requirements and will continue to adapt to the future needs of the Nation.

The Secretary of the Army relies on the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) to direct and supervise the Corps' Civil Works Program. The Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations are responsible for the Civil Works Program and report to the Assistant Secretary of the Army on Civil Works matters.

The private sector is an essential element of the Civil Works team. The Corps contracts with private architectural, engineering, and construction firms for a high percentage of its design and all of its construction work. The partnership between the Corps and the private sector represents an immediate force multiplier of several hundred thousand architects, engineers, and builders, and is readily convertible to support the Nation in times of emergency.