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Short Citation:
Office for Coastal Management, 2023: Rivers and Harbors Act,

Item Identification

Title: Rivers and Harbors Act
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2020-06-23

The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA) (33 U.S.C. Sec. 401 et seq.) is the initial authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) regulatory permit program to protect navigable waters in the development of harbors and other construction and excavation. Section 10 of the RHA (33 U.S.C. Sec. 403) prohibits the unauthorized obstruction or alteration of any navigable water of the U.S. This section provides that the construction of any structure in or over any navigable water of the U.S., or the accomplishment of any other work affecting the course, location, condition, or physical capacity of such waters is unlawful unless the work has been recommended by the Chief of Engineers and authorized by the Secretary of the Army. The Secretary’s approval authority has since been delegated to the Chief of Engineers. Activities requiring section 10 permits include structures (e.g., piers, wharfs, breakwaters, bulkheads, jetties, weirs, transmission lines) and work such as dredging or disposal of dredged material, or excavation, filling, or other modifications to the navigable waters of the United States.


To support ocean planning activities pursuant to the Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States, the Energy Policy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Supplemental Information:

These data represent the unofficial boundary of the Rivers and Harbors Act, as of 2020. For the official boundary, please reference language within the authoritative legislation and consult the governing agency/agencies. A copy of the legislation is found here:


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None federal georegulation
None georegulation
None marine boundaries
None ocean planning
None regulation
None Rivers and Harbors Act

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Alaska
None American Samoa
None Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
None East Coast
None Great Lakes
None Guam
None Hawaii
None National
None Puerto Rico
None U.S. Virgin Islands
None United States
None West Coast

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Distribution Liability:

Support Roles

Point of Contact

CC ID: 907533
Date Effective From: 2020-06-23
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 907551
W° Bound: -180
E° Bound: 180
N° Bound: 74.708841
S° Bound: -17.555007

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 907550
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 2020

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

For coastal and ocean planning

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1121372
Download URL:
Description: Data Registry

Distribution 2

CC ID: 1121373
Download URL:

Data Quality


The attributes in this dataset are believed to be accurate.

Completeness Report:

Spatial and attribute properties are believed to be complete. Geometric thresholds from original data are preserved. No tests have been completed for exhaustiveness.

Conceptual Consistency:

These data are believed to be logically consistent. Geometry is topologically clean.



National Marine Sanctuaries Act

CC ID: 907547
Contact Role Type: Publisher
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: Office for Coastal Management, OCM
Publish Date: 2018-08-08
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2018-08-08
Citation URL:

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 907548

1. Downloaded the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) from Marine Cadastre. The authority of the NMSA shares the same geographical extent as the Coast Guard Authorities (i.e. from the Exclusive Economic Zone, landward to all navigable waters of the United States).

2. Modified attribute values according to data dictionary.

Process Date/Time: 2020-02-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 59646
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:59646
Metadata Record Created By: Jesse Brass
Metadata Record Created: 2020-05-15 15:23+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-05-30 18:09+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2020-06-09
Owner Org: OCM
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2020-06-09
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2021-06-09