Ecosystem Restoration

Black Fox, Murfree and Oaklands Springs wetlands lie in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The main goals of the Restoration Project are the preservation and enhancement of the three unique wetland complexes. The project also supports environmental education and recreation at Murfree and Oaklands Springs.A photo of the Black Fox Greenway in Murfreesboro, Tenn. This greenway was included in a larger Restoration Project that preserved and enhanced three unique wetland complexes.The Corps of Engineers Ecosystem Restoration Program seeks to provide a comprehensive approach to address issues associated with disturbed and degraded ecological resources. The Corps of Engineers will examine the existing ecosystems and determine the feasibility to restore degraded ecosystem structure, function, and dynamic processes to a less degraded, natural condition.
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The Corps of Engineers is authorized by Congress to perform ecosystem restoration in conjunction with water resource and related land resource issues. These services can be performed by seeking specific project authority or through the Continuing Authorities Program, aimed at smaller projects. Each of the programs requires a study (decision) process and a non-federal cost-share sponsor (a community or a local or state government entity) prior to a study or before implementation of a project.
Before the Federal Government can participate in implementing a project, the Nashville District must conduct a two phase study.  The first phase is reconnaissance.  This phase is used to make a preliminary determination whether there is federal interest in further studying the problem. The reconnaissance phase is completed upon the signing of a FCSA by the Nashville District and the cost-share sponsor. By signing the FCSA, the second phase can be initiated, called a feasibility study. This study evaluates a wide range of alternatives and recommends the best solution from economic and environmental perspectives.

Reconnaissance Phase:
The reconnaissance phase is fully funded by the Federal Government (limited to $100,000) and is usually completed in less than 12 months.

Feasibility Phase:
The feasibility phase is 100 percent federally funded up to the first $100,000.  Any feasibility costs above $100,000 are cost-shared equally at 50 percent federal and 50 percent 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.

A recommendation for federal participation precedes a recommendation for construction authorization. The proposed implementation is forwarded to Congress to ultimately decide if the project will be authorized. A project must be authorized by Congress for it to be implemented.

Following authorization for construction of a project, the sponsor enters into a Project Partnership Agreement to define the responsibilities of each party. The sponsor must normally agree to the following:

  • Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, rights-of-way, relocations and disposal areas necessary for the construction and subsequent maintenance of the project;
  • Provide without cost to the United States all necessary alterations of buildings, utilities, highways, bridges, sewers, and related and special facilities;
  • Hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction and subsequent maintenance of the project, except damages due to the fault or negligence of the United States or its contractors; 
  • Maintain and operate the project after completion without cost to the United States;
  • Prevent future encroachment, which might interfere with proper functioning of the project;
  • Assume responsibility for all costs in excess of applicable federal cost limitations;
  • If the value of the sponsor’s contribution above does not equal or exceed 35% of the project cost, provide a cash contribution to make the sponsor’s total contribution equal to 35%.

How to Request Assistance

Requests for assistance can be made by phone, email, or letter.  A Letter of Intent from a state or local government agency is needed before federal funding can be requested.  Click on the Example Letters of Intent tab on the left to view/download letters.
For more information contact:
Chief, Project Planning Branch or Chief, Plan Formulation Section
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District
110 9th Avenue South
Room A405
Nashville, TN 37203

Phone: (615) 736-7865