People and the Coast

People on a Beach


Coastal waters provide plentiful fishing sources, and inlets are convenient harbors. Because of these natural conditions, fishing and navigation have taken place along the coast for thousands of years.

Maritime commerce and fishing remain crucial economic activities today. Millions of short tonnage is shipped through U.S. ports every year, particularly along the Gulf coast, in New England, and in California. While commercial fishing continues to be an important economic activity, sport-fishing and recreational navigation have grown as well.

The need to maintain navigable waterways has led to problems as vessels have grown in size. Facilitating deep-draft navigation is one of the Corps' oldest missions, and they continue to implement solutions to encourage this critical component of the American economy.


Reviewed 27 Sep 2016


Dredging in the coastal zone is the largest single item in the Corps' budget because over 90% of the Nation's top 50 ports for foreign commerce require regular dredging.