The Investigation Program establishes a process by which the Corps of Engineers can help a community solve a water resource problem.
Under the Investigation Program, the Corps of Engineers would jointly conduct a study and, if shown by the study to be feasible, construct a project. This approach requires that Congress provide the Corps of Engineers first with authority to accomplish a feasibility study and second, to construct a project. Local sponsors share the study and construction costs with the Corps of Engineers, and usually pay for all operation and maintenance costs.
The Investigation Program may be used to address a variety of water resource problems including navigation, flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, and hurricane and storm damage reduction.
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The reconnaissance phase is fully funded by the Federal Government (limited to $100,000) and is usually completed in less than 12 months.
The feasibility phase is 100% federally funded up to the first $100,000. Any feasibility costs above $100,000 are cost-shared equally at 50% federal and 50% non-federal. The non-federal share of feasibility phase costs may be a combination of cash and in-kind products or services. The feasibility phase can take up to three years to complete if adequate funding is received in a timely manner.
Formal assurance of local cooperation must be furnished by a local sponsoring agency. The local sponsor must be a municipality or public agency, fully authorized under state laws to give such assurances and must be financially capable of fulfilling all measures of local cooperation.