US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website

Section 408 Overview

Through the Civil Works program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serves the public by providing the Nation with quality and responsive management of the Nation’s water resources.  As a result, USACE, in partnership with stakeholders, has constructed many Civil Works projects across the Nation’s landscape.  Given the widespread locations of these projects, many embedded within communities, over time there may be a need for others outside of USACE to alter or occupy these projects and their associated lands.  Reasons for alterations could include improvements to the projects; relocation of part of the project; or installing utilities or other non-project features. 

In order to ensure that these projects continue to provide their intended benefits to the public, Congress mandated that any use or alteration of a Civil Works project by another party is subject to the approval of USACE.  This requirement was established in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which has since been amended several times and is codified at 33 USC 408 (Section 408).

Section 408 provides that USACE may grant permission for another party to alter a Civil Works project upon a determination that the alteration proposed will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the Civil Works project.

Synchronization with USACE’s Regulatory Program

If a proposed alteration to a Civil Works project involves construction or filling activities within waters of the United States, including wetlands, a permit from USACE’s Regulatory Program may be required.  In the event that both a Regulatory permit and a Section 408 permission are required for a proposed project, the Regulatory permit decision cannot be issued, before or without, the Section 408 permission decision. 

How to Apply for a Section 408 Permission

To determine if a Section 408 review will be required, USACE needs specific information about your project.  Our Section 408 Submittal Package Guide details the information that we will need in order to evaluate your project:

Section 408 Public Notices

  • 2006-06337-24 Public Notice - the applicant, the Bay Head Preservation Alliance, has requested permission for the in-kind repair/replacement of five (5) existing timber groin structures at the Atlantic Ocean located within the Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. The proposed project is located along the oceanfront beach between Osborne Avenue and Chadwick Street in the Borough of Bay Head, Ocean County, New Jersey. More details are available in the Public Notice attachment. Public comments are due by Dec. 8, 2019. 
  • 2019-01037-95 Public Notice -  the applicant, South Jersey Gas Company, has requested permission to install, via the Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) method, a natural gas distribution pipeline beneath the Grassy Sound Channel portion of the New Jersey IntraCoastal Waterway Federal Navigation Channel.  The proposed project is located at North Wildwood Boulevard in Middle Township, Cape May County, New Jersey. More details are available in the Public Notice attachment. Public comments are due by Dec. 8, 2019. 
  • 2019-00825-83 Public Notice - the applicant, South Jersey Gas Company, proposes the Installation of Natural Gas Distribution Pipeline via Horizontal Directional Drilling beneath Cape May Canal section of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Federal Navigation Channel. Public comment opportunities and additional details are available in the Public Notice attachment. 
  • 2019-0421-95 Public Notice - the applicant, Angler’s Club of Absecon Island, proposes to extend the existing Margate fishing pier at Exeter Avenue by 300.0-linear feet seaward into the Atlantic Ocean. The location is 121 S. Exeter Avenue, Margate City, New Jersey. Public comments are due by Aug. 25, 2019.
  • 2019-0761-86 Public Notice - the applicant, Ocean City Fishing Club, proposes to extend the existing Ocean City fishing pier (1516 Boardwalk, Ocean City, New Jersey 08226) by 132-linear feet and 6-inches seaward into the Atlantic Ocean. The stated purpose of this project is to restore access to the Ocean City Fishing Club to appropriate depths for recreation fishing. More details are available in the "Public Notice & Plan Details" attachment. Public comments are due by Oct. 6, 2019.


Applicants are encouraged to engage in dialogue with USACE early in the project planning process. Please contact:

Robert Youhas
Regulatory Branch
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District
100 Penn Square East
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3390
(215) 656-6729