An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
Official websites use .mil
website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
Skip to main content (Press Enter).
US Army Corps of Engineers
Los Angeles District Website
Mission and Vision
Business With Us
Small Business Program
Construction Quality Management
General Preliminary Information
Non Corps Owned Property
Information Specific to Filming At Corps Dams and
Final Regulatory Actions
WRDA Section 214
Regional General Permits
District Boundaries Map
Section 10 of the Rivers & Harbors Act
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Report a Violation
SAMP Permitting and Research
SDC SAMP Permitting
SDC SAMP Research
Restoration Plan Baseline
Restoration Plan Watershed Factors
Restoration Plan Increase Functions
SDC SAMP Research-Assessment
SDC SAMP Research-PLD
SDC SAMP Research-Restoration Plan
SDC SAMP Research-Restoration Plan-Baseline
Otay SAMP Research
Established LOP Procedures
WQC Summary CA
NWP Summary Table Tribal WQC AZ
NWP Summary Table Tribal WQC CA
WQC Summary AZ
Port San Luis
Marina del Rey
Port of Los Angeles
Port of Long Beach
Levee Safety Program
Projects & Studies
Solana-Encinitas Shoreline Study
Santa Clara River Watershed Study
Malibu Creek Study
Prado Basin Feasibility Study
Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration
Little Colorado River Winslow
Aliso Creek Mainstem Ecosystem Restoration Study
East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study
Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Modification Study
Port of Long Beach Deep Draft Navigation Study
Salinas Dam Disposition Study
Los Angeles County Drainage Area Disposition Study
Dam Safety Program
Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Modification Project
WRRDA Water Projects and Studies
Formerly Used Defense Sites
Areas D, G and H
Camp San Luis Obispo
Multi-Use Range Complex
Grenade Courts 25 and 26
Rifle Grenade Range - 1952
Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
Castle Dome Mountain Ordnance Area
King Valley Impact Area
Maneuver Area/Vehicular Access
Hidden Valley Practice Landmine Area
Southeastern Impact Area
McPherson Pass Practice Landmine Area
Maneuver Area/Small Arms
Goffs Butte OE Disposal Areas
Rifle and Pistol Ranges
Mojave Gunnery Range "C"
Strafing Target #71
Strafing Target #71
Bomb Target "F"
Rocket Range 101
Bombing Range #73
APA Areas 5 & 6
APA Areas E, E1 and E2
APA Area C
Border Field State Park
Small Arms Range Complex
Demonstration Bombing Target
Dry Canyon Artillery Range
Kingman Ground-to-Ground Gunnery Range
MRS03 - 15 Skeet Ranges
Former Fort Huachuca
Charleston Maneuver Area
Artillery, Mortar Ranges & Maneuver Area
Deming Precision Bombing Range No. 24
Nellis Small Arms Range Annex
UNLV Study Area
UCSD (Camp Matthews), Range Complex No. 1
Sahuarita Air Force Range
Baywood Park Training Area
Mohave Maneuver Area C
Point Vicente Interpretive Center
Interagency & International Support
Section 408 Permits
WRDA Section 214
Congressional Project Activity Database
Project Fact Sheets
Nogales Wash Emergency Flood Fight
Santa Barbara County Debris Removal
Whittier Narrows Dam
Santa Fe Dam
Los Angeles River
Prado Dam Master Plan
Mojave River Dam
Real Estate Division
Southern CA Area
Regulatory Public Notices
Project Public Notices
Social Media Guidelines
USACE Office Locator
SAMP Permitting and Research
Why is a Special Area Management Plan important?
A Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) is an innovative regulatory program tool. A SAMP allows the Corps to make better permitting decisions. It take a holistic approach to protecting sensitive aquatic resources across an entire watershed through integration of public and stakeholder involvement in establishing policies, standards, and mechanisms of implementation. The SAMP approach incorporates non-regulatory aspects of watershed management alongside regulatory permitting to support aquatic resource protection. The Corps’ goal in initiating a SAMP is to develop a framework for decision-making that balances aquatic resource protection and reasonable economic development.
The SAMP formulation process joins together Watershed Management, Permitting, and Conservation
Why create a SAMP?
Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Corps of Engineers regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. The project review and permitting associated with regulatory functions most often occur on a project-by-project basis, which complicates an assessment of cumulative impacts. In contrast, the SAMP approach allows the Corps to achieve higher environmental sensitivity through a process of comprehensive review of the aquatic resources across a watershed of focus facilitate the evaluation of cumulative loss of resources over time. The formulation of a SAMP supports decision making and long-term planning for regulatory actions under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act that involve large areas, complex projects, and sensitive aquatic resources.
How is a SAMP developed?
The Corps devised a multi-step process that involves coordination and collaboration with multiple interested stakeholders over many years. Though each SAMP will follow its own trajectory, the foundational process is the same.
The first step of a SAMP is to identify and assess the riparian ecosystem within a given study area. The assessment of ecosystem condition in a watershed context is used to score the of the riparian ecosystem’s degree of modification in terms of hydrology, habitat, and water quality.
Establishing aquatic resource management objectives is done collaboratively and concurrently with identifying the potential permitting needs and objectives of the regulated public.
The next step is to identify sensitive aquatic resource areas whose conservation would help to maintain the overall integrity of the watershed.
Building on all the data and analyses, the Corps is able to develop a watershed-specific permitting strategy and a complementary aquatic resource conservation strategy.
Moving towards a plan for implementation entails the development and assessment of alternative strategies.
Memorializing a SAMP for implementation occurs after the preparation of an environmental assessment and a decision document.
Formulating a SAMP is a multi-stepped process.
Where are there SAMPs in the Los Angeles District?
During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Los Angeles District Corps of Engineers initiated SAMPs in portions of six watersheds within three southern California counties. Focused on riparian ecosystem, the District’s SAMPs were conducted in geographic areas of special sensitivity under intense development pressure and with local interest and support.
The first SAMPs were initiated for the San Diego Creek Watershed, and the San Juan Creek and western San Mateo Creek Watersheds in Orange County. In Orange County, the implementation of a SAMP framework with specific permitting procedures and mitigation policies remain in effect.
In Western Riverside County, the Corps took the opportunity to initiate a SAMP for the San Jacinto River Watershed and the Santa Margarita River Watershed, alongside ongoing regional efforts, namely, the multi-species habitat conservation planning and regional transportation planning programs. Though no final SAMP framework was developed, the Corps compiled extensive data and analyses in a geospatial database and summary report that are available resources to inform the Corps’ decision-making processes about permitting and mitigation.
A SAMP for the Otay River Watershed in San Diego County was initiated with the County of San Diego as a facet of the County’s broader watershed management program and following a species conservation planning effort. Though no final SAMP framework was developed, the Corps compiled the extensive data and analyses in a geospatial database and summary report that are available resources to inform decision-making processes, i.e. permitting and mitigation.
San Diego Creek watershed, San Juan Creek, and portions of San Mateo Creek watersheds
Western Riverside County
Portions of San Jacinto and upper Santa Margarita watersheds
San Diego County
Otay River watershed
Are other agencies involved?
Other public agencies participated during each of the SAMPs’ formulation processes as appropriate to the particular SAMP study area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Counties of Orange, Riverside, and San Diego were involved in the watersheds under their respective purviews.