Value to the Nation Fast Facts

Recreation NATIONAL LEVEL Report

US Army Corps of Engineers — Value to the Nation

Natural and recreational resources at the Nation's 402 Corps lakes provide social, economic and environmental benefits for all Americans. Following are facts related to the Corps' role managing natural and recreational resources in the U.S.


Facilities in FY 2016

  • 4,904 recreation areas 
  • 32,719 picnic sites 
  • 89,991 camping sites 
  • 2,101 playgrounds 
  • 947 swimming areas 
  • 3,047 number of trails 
  • 8,724 trail miles 
  • 366 fishing docks 
  • 3,747 boat ramps 
  • 108,170 marina slips 

Public Outreach in FY 2016

  • 3,788,624 public outreach contacts

Visits (person-trips) in FY 2016

  • 266,865,775 in total
  • 30,366,423 picnickers
  • 5,318,528 campers 
  • 34,360,971 swimmers 
  • 10,330,038 water skiers 
  • 66,980,837 boaters 
  • 87,622,245 sightseers 
  • 63,851,028 anglers 
  • 3,995,044 hunters 
  • 53,218,554 others

Benefits in Perspective

By providing opportunities for active recreation, Corps lakes help combat one of the most significant of the nation's health problems: lack of physical activity.

Recreational programs and activities at Corps lakes also help strengthen family ties and friendships; provide opportunities for children to develop personal skills, social values, and self-esteem; and increase water safety.


Economic Data in FY 2016

266,865,775 visits per year resulted in:

  • $8,503,389,802 in visitor spending within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $5,131,921,172 in sales within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • 76,256 jobs within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $2,014,536,112 in labor income within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $2,692,452,530 in value added within 30 miles of Corps lakes.
  • $2,263,083,888 in NED benefits.

With multiplier effects, visitor trip spending resulted in:

  • $8,253,841,079 in total sales.
  • 96,895 jobs.
  • $2,985,342,419 in labor income.
  • $4,425,294,972 in value added (wages & salaries, payroll benefits, profits, rents, and indirect business taxes).

Benefits in Perspective

The money spent by visitors to Corps lakes on trip expenses adds to the local and national economies by supporting jobs and generating income. Visitor spending represents a sizable component of the economy in many communities around Corps lakes.

How these numbers were calculated.


Resources in FY 2016

  • 4,047,531 land acres
  • 5,630,584 water acres
  • 41,193 shoreline miles

Benefits in Perspective

Recreation experiences increase motivation to learn more about the environment; understanding and awareness of environmental issues; and sensitivity to the environment.


Source: Value to the Nation web site at
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