Recommendations for a National Levee Safety Program ...From the National Committee on Levee Safety

National Leadership


Recommendations for a National Levee Safety Program | Report to Congress | National Leadership | State Levee Safety Programs | Aligning Existing Federal Programs | Feedback on the National Levee Safety Program


Images of Corps National Database upon which expansion to non-federal levees could be based.
Corps National Database upon which expansion to non-federal levees could be based.
Photo of Levee reconstruction post Hurricane Katrina. St. Bernard Parish, LA. August 2005.
Levee reconstruction post Hurricane Katrina. St. Bernard Parish, LA. August 2005.
Photo of Lupines on the levee.
Lupines on a Sacramento River levee in Sacramento, California.

Responsibility for levee safety is distributed across all levels of government — local, state and federal — and across different agencies at each level. While different levels of government have important roles to play in levee safety, this diffused responsibility can impede the development of comprehensive and consistent levee safety programs and policies.

The National Committee on Levee Safety (NCLS) recommends that Congress establish the National Levee Safety Program, led by an independent National Levee Safety Commission, to effectively address levee safety across the country. The NCLS determined the following characteristics of a National Levee Safety Commission to be essential:

  • Independence to address levee safety holistically, unconstrained by the momentum and priorities of existing programs, with the ability to make politically challenging decisions when necessary;
  • Leadership for significant horizontal integration of effort across federal agencies and alignment of their programs, with vertical integration to achieve balanced participation at all levels of government; and
  • Organizational capabilities spanning regulatory policy development, program implementation, oversight and grants management; and significant experience in the relevant technical, public communication and environmental areas.
  • Status of Recommendations related to National Leadership (Updated, July 2011)
  • Feedback on Recommendations related to National Leadership

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View of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. August 2005.
View of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. August 2005.

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Test Your Levee IQ

What percentage of the approximately 15,000 miles of levees in US Army Corps of Engineers Levee Safety Program are operated and maintained by local sponsors?

  1. 10%
  2. 25%
  3. 65%
  4. 85%

Answers to this, and past, questions.