US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

Water Resources Division

The Water Resources Division works to achieve sustainable watershed solutions among its division sections. WRD delivers balanced, enduring and essential water resource responses through relationships with all water resources partners and stakeholders. The division is comprised of the following branches and offices. 


Regulatory The office issues permits for regulated activities proposed throughout the state of Virginia. Areas that the Norfolk District regulates include, but are not limited to, tidal marshes, seasonally saturated forested and non-forested wetlands, swamps, rivers, bays, and streams. Regulatory issues permits under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Learn more about our Regulatory Office's permit authorities at our Regulatory page. 


Planning and Policy Branch Serves as principal advisor to the District Commander on all matters relating to the General Investigations (GI), Regional Sediment Management (RSM) and Continuing Authorities Programs (CAP), serving as the program manager for each.  As such, is responsible for the preparation, independent technical review, and defense of civil works water resources pre-construction (Reconnaissance and Feasibility studies) and post-authorization (General Reevaluation and Limited Reevaluation) decision documents.  

Ensures compliance of all civil works pre-authorization and post-authorization decision documents with applicable laws and statutes and Corps regulations to include ER 1105-2-100 (Planning and Policy for Civil Works) and ER 5-1-1 (Projects Management Business Processes), as well as consistency with the Corps of Engineers Environmental Operating Principles. 

Provides support to the District Military program with respect to NEPA and Military Master Planning based on prioritization provided by the Projects Branch. 

Provides support to the District Operations program with respect to provision of economics decision documents based on prioritization provided by the Operations Branch. 


Operations Branch Constructs, operates and maintains Norfolk District's navigation and flood control projects. It includes the design section, geospacial services, navigation and survey, operations support, technical support and water control at district facilities.

Design Section plans, designs, budgets, schedules and executes civil works operations and maintenance navigation dredging projects. The section's employees design navigation channel and dredged material placement features and serve as subject matter experts on studies and construction project teams.

The section manages the district’s navigation and dredging program and serves as the district’s principal point of contact with local sponsor, project users, maritime, dredging industry and technical interests, local and state governments and other federal agencies for all matters pertaining to the operation and maintenance of federal navigation channels. Design section employees produce a variety of technical products including plans for dredging, condition survey drawings and controlling depth reports. They distribute project information in the form of survey drawings and reports to maritime interests through the Electronic Survey Distribution System.

Technical Support performs engineering, design, and environmental analysis in support of the district’s Operations & Maintenance, or O&M, dredging program. Its employees prepare and coordinate environmental assessments, environmental impact statements, permit applications, public notices and other documents necessary to the O&M program.

The section maintains liaison with other district elements, as well as federal, state and local government agencies to assure full project coordination. The employees utilize computer-aided design systems to conduct investigations and analysis to anticipate and resolve environmental issues, placement alternatives, and design of unique water-related facilities.

Geospatial Services is a team of geospatial specialists consisting of engineers, physical scientists, and geographers that provides geospatial consulting services and integrates geospatial technology into the project management business process. This includes:

  • Conducts enterprise geographic information system, or (eGIS), needs assessments, developing eGIS implementation plans, and implementing eGIS technology and work processes.
  • Develops decision-making tools and procedures that facilitate the widespread use of geospatial data leading to greater efficiencies in support of customer needs.
  • Performs spatial analysis and data modeling.

Navigation and Survey Section acquires engineering, scientific, environmental, topographic, and hydrographic surveying data in support of new work and maintenance construction of civil works projects such as navigation and beach nourishment and protection. The section performs investigations and removal when necessary of obstructions, wrecks, and floating debris in navigable waters and conducts harbor patrols to enforce and prevent unauthorized deposits into navigable waters in the district. The section's employees perform quality assurance on civil works construction contracts such as dredging, dike construction, and beach nourishment and protection.

Operations Support Section manages the district's flood control and navigation operations and maintenance projects and performs contract administration on the district's civil works projects.