You are the Army Corps of Engineers.
January 5, 2023 7:05 AM   Subscribe

 
The captions really make it.
posted by Wretch729 at 7:08 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


This is awesome!
posted by Thorzdad at 7:16 AM on January 5


Odd twist at the end.


Spoilers
There are also giant humans!

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:17 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Purrfect!
posted by mersen at 7:23 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


This is very good. Here's a screenshot of the last page for easy sharing.
posted by Nelson at 7:27 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


For some reason, I'm not surprised this came from the Portland District. Also I did not know Cougar Dam is the tallest Army Corps dam in the state.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:32 AM on January 5


Aces!
posted by gurple at 7:40 AM on January 5


dam cat.
posted by 7segment at 7:48 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Hahaha, October giant cat Moriarty, this is a good thing
posted by the primroses were over at 7:50 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


CAT?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:51 AM on January 5


A while back I volunteered at my Alderman's office here in Chicago. The city had just got more funds to rehabilitate part of the riverside, which for 100+ years has been choked with invasive weed-trees, weeds, garbage, more invasive weed-trees, weeds, more weeds and trash. Historically, for the last 100+ years, the Chicago River was treated as an industrial waste flush surrounded with whatever green would grow there on its own. In recent decades, there's been a push towards restoring the river and its embankments. It's an amazing success story in progress, and could easily be a huge post here at Metafilter.

As part of this push, the Army Corps of Engineers was brought in to remove the weed-trees from a specific stretch of the river that made its way through a (sorta) wealthy, white neighborhood. This was so the embankments could be treated and re-planted with native species and be made into a walkable public park/nature preserve instead of a green-choked hazard site. Afterwards, we got dozens of calls from the local residents complaining about this. They missed the trees. They could (now) see streetlights in their back yards (!!) because the trees were gone. One person threatened to not pay taxes because of this (!!!). "Why couldn't they have left SOME of the trees?" Etc, etc.

We were told to explain the general outline of the river plan (which was public knowledge for a decade) and that the tree removal was part of a plan that would eventually make a walkable public park with native prairie plants and trees, places for birds to nest, otters, foxes, minks, and dozens of other native species to dwell. And a large part of the money was used to get the goddamn US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS to remove the old trees and weed growth, along with decades of illegally dumped trash, broken glass, rubble, etc.

When you ask the US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS to remove some trees—they remove ALL the goddamned trees!

So great to see a funny side of the US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. Thanks.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:54 AM on January 5 [32 favorites]


I have been thinking that I want some kind of calendar just to spruce up a bit of the wall and remind me of the passing of time and I WANT THIS ONE OMFG.

https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil is their site but I sure cannot find "calendar" in the six seconds I'm willing to spend hunting...
posted by egypturnash at 8:15 AM on January 5


Keep Portland Meowed

Also, August’s rightmost yawn is beautiful.
posted by klausman at 8:29 AM on January 5


A++
posted by greta simone at 8:30 AM on January 5


Man, this is great. Just sent it to my old boss, who is now working for the Corps (although not that office).
posted by suelac at 8:37 AM on January 5


> Chicago River renewal...

Early last year I did a boat tour on the Chicago River, while back on a visit 40 years after having moved away, and I can confirm both century-long history of the river-as-open-sewer and the progress on the restoration. ACE are good for something once in a while.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 8:51 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


This was absolutely delightful. More organizations need to have a sense of humor like this.
posted by rednikki at 8:53 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


These are really funny! I love those excavators.
posted by supermedusa at 8:55 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


As a person who was Hurricane Katrina-adjacent, I have to admit that my first reaction to this was a sneer. They have a lot to answer for in south Louisiana.

But I guess someone has to do PR for the dams.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:56 AM on January 5


Aw, the Corps gets so much shit* this is a smart move to generate a little goodwill. I foresee other Corps offices copying this idea. I don't think they could get away with cheesecake calendars like firefighters do, but maybe dogs! I would pitch a calendar of birds nesting on Corps projects, or maybe "Sexiest Excavators of 2024" or something.

*Sometimes deserved! But there are lots of good people working with them too.
posted by emjaybee at 8:58 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


This is relevant to my interests.
posted by agentofselection at 9:04 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]




By extension of logic, the dam failures are the fault of...giant (invisible?) cats? Sure.
More federal funding for giant cat treats now! dammit.
posted by winesong at 10:27 AM on January 5


Do the cats (& Engineers) get paid for civil engineering work?
Why aren't private companies contracted to do the work?
posted by phigmov at 11:01 AM on January 5


Reminds me of the Giant Military Cats Twitter account.
posted by zzazazz at 11:15 AM on January 5


Portland district represent.
posted by danhon at 11:17 AM on January 5


Portland, OR represent. Excellent.
posted by danhon at 11:18 AM on January 5


In case anyone is looking for a link that doesn't automatically download a pdf, here it is.
posted by verstegan at 11:27 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Do the cats (& Engineers) get paid for civil engineering work?
Why aren't private companies contracted to do the work?


If you are asking this seriously, private companies are often contracted to do the work! But the truth is that if the federal agency has the expertise & equipment on staff, it's 30% cheaper for the taxpayer for the agency to do the work themselves than contract it out. Once you include profit margins and overhead for private companies, the cost of maintaining a staff to award the contracts, the cost and time associated with managing the contracts... federal contracting is slow and expensive.

If the agency staff can do the project, they should.
posted by suelac at 11:41 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


>If the agency staff can do the project, they should.

Aha - thanks for the clarification. I'm all for a form of nationalised engineering capability - in NZ we used to have a (civilian, non-military) Ministry of Works that did a bunch of similar stuff before it was essentially privatised/contracted out in the 80's & 90's. I'll have to check out the WIkipedia article for the Army Engineers.

Glad to see they are sympathetic to Giant Cats.
posted by phigmov at 12:34 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Backstory on May: That cat pushed him over the ledge and will do the same for the other guy.
posted by hydra77 at 1:30 PM on January 5


This wouldn't have been as good with pups. I love pups, but it just wouldn't have been as satisfying.
posted by Atreides at 1:58 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I'm all for a form of nationalised engineering capability

Oh, I should have explained more!

The US Army Corps of Engineers is part of the US Army. They have multiple roles, however, both civil and military.

On the military side, they are the engineers for the Army (and much of the rest of the military). They serve as the engineers and contractors for major military construction projects.

On the civil side, they also have 2 separate roles:
1. They are responsible for building and maintaining major public works projects like the navigation channels in our waterways; dams; jetties and breakwaters; and other such (mostly water-related) projects.

2. They are the regulators responsible under the Clean Water Act for permitting projects by private entities and other government agencies that might have effects on water quality and/or wetlands. Anyone building a new facility in a wetland would, for instance, have to get a permit from the local Corps office that addresses the project and minimizes environmental damage from it.

They are a complicated entity! But very important, particularly in civil engineering and environmental arenas.
posted by suelac at 3:58 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


this is amazing, thank you
posted by wym at 4:31 PM on January 5


"So, here's the latest version. Obviously, we're gonna clean up the outlines a bit and work on the lighting so the cats don't look so cut-and-pasted in and --"

"Don't you fucking change a thing."
posted by mhum at 5:06 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


If the agency staff can do the project, they should.

Seconded! But those cats need a union.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:55 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


2. They are the regulators responsible under the Clean Water Act for permitting projects by private entities and other government agencies that might have effects on water quality and/or wetlands.

I worked for USACE one year doing this as a seasonal employee! (Western Colorado office in Grand Junction). Sometimes I wish I pursued doing it as a career, it was really fascinating. To be clear, the EPA has a huge role in CWA regulation as well from the chemical discharge side - USACE is involved if there is discharging of dredged or fill material in jurisdictional "waters of the United States," which includes wetlands.

My favorite was when a developer got all mad at me because he thought the permit was a "rubber stamp" and I got to tell him that no, we determine if your project falls under a "pre-approved" permit category or if you have to do an EA [Environmental Assessment] or EIS [Environmental Impact Statement].

Another favorite project was when a farmer contacted us about wanting a permit to install riprap on the side of a river to prevent erosion, and I looked back through (physical paper, this was in 1998) historical USGS topographical maps to see that the installation of something upstream years before was what caused the river to start to erode his property. River fluid dynamics are amazing.
posted by misskaz at 5:01 AM on January 6 [9 favorites]


the installation of something upstream years before was what caused the river to start to erode his property

Yeah, that's super common. You want to stop your shoreline from eroding! But what you do will make the erosion worse for your neighbors! WTH do you do?

A lot of agencies are pushing for more biological "soft" shoreline projects: building wetlands and vegetated areas that will absorb the water rather than bounce it back. But it's slow, costly, and needs more maintenance than a concrete seawall.
posted by suelac at 12:29 PM on January 6


See also the USFS Cocktail Construction Chart
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:36 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


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