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The Southwestern Division (SWD) operates and maintains three of the top ten Federal  channels that serve the U.S. Ports - Houston, Beaumont, and Corpus Christi in Texas.  Texas is the number one state in foreign import for waterborne traffic according to the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center (WCSC).  Southwestern Division is home to the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS), which transports over 12 million tons of goods annually, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which transports over 91 million tons annually.  Waterways within the region transport over 509 million tons of commerce annually, making SWD the second largest region for waterborne commerce in the Corps of Engineers.


 Our navigation mission is to ensure that channels are maintained at authorized depths and widths, dredged materials and sites are managed properly, storage capacities are sustainable, and locks are operable and maintained to avoid unscheduled closures.

 SWD’s projects include coastal and inland navigation, harbors, channels, waterways, and infrastructure which connect deep and shallow draft channels.

 Several key activities are completed or underway within the Texas Gulf Coast System:

 • The Houston Ship Channel was deepened to 45 feet in 2005.

• The Texas City Ship Channel was deepened to 45 feet in 2011.

• Construction of the 1.4 mile Corpus Christi La Quinta Channel extension at a depth of 39 feet was completed in February 2014. 

• The Sabine Neches Waterway study to deepen the channel from 40 to 48 feet as well as extend the off-shore channel for 13 miles was completed in July 2011.

• The Freeport Channel study for deepening the channel from 45 to 55 feet was completed in February 2013.

• The Corps Civil Work Review Board approved the Brazos Island Harbor study for deepening of the Brownsville Ship Channel from 42 to 52 feet. 

 Southwestern Division Facts:

• 1500 miles of channels (615 miles of coastal; 885 miles of inland and intra-coastal)

• 15 deep draft coastal ports

• 13 shallow draft coastal ports

• 5 inland public ports

• Texas ports create nearly 1.4 million jobs, generating $82.8 billion in personal income.

• Texas maritime activities generate approximately $2.4 billion in direct, induced, and indirect state and local taxes.

• 42 countries have traded commerce via McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS).

• Current and future exports help stabilize the dollar thereby reducing the value of the federal deficit.

• GIWW provides an intermodal linkage through domestic and international markets and facilities.

• SWD has the largest tonnage of foreign cargo being off-loaded in the nation.