CHARLESTON, S.C. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District’s Operations Division has a multi-faceted mission. It delivers navigation, hydropower, asset management, geospatial and emergency management solutions to the state of South Carolina and the nation. The man responsible for this broad mission is Scott Glass, the division’s chief.
“As the chief of operations, I’m part of the senior chief group,” said Glass. “This group makes strategic decisions that impact the entire district. Decisions that affect our employees and our (USACE’s) direction in the future, so that is a very rewarding part of my job.”
Glass is also responsible for overseeing the navigation and hydropower operations of the District.
USACE maintains hundreds of miles of waterways in South Carolina to ensure commercial, recreation and military traffic can traverse those federal waterways to include the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and other federal navigation channels. A big component is maintaining the Charleston Harbor, including supporting the current Post 45 deepening project. Maintaining the harbor directly supports and enables the South Carolina Ports Authority, an “economic driver for the state,” said Glass. Additionally, about two to three million cubic yards of material are dredged each year to maintain the harbor.
“We impact more than just operations,” he said. “We provide geographic information system and geospatial support to pretty much every program in the division. We also provide significant support to the District’s Regulatory program. My team contributes to the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Storm Risk Management Study and South Atlantic Coastal Study. Lastly, we have a survey team that operates a variety of equipment out of Joint Base Charleston, including our largest two vessels, the SV Evans and SV Heilsmen. They are the ones doing the heavy work conducting hundreds of surveys of the harbor floor each year. They are out on the water almost every day.”
Another aspect of the Operations Division Glass is proud to lead is the District’s work with the Cooper River Rediversion Project at St. Stephen, S.C. In addition to providing power to approximately 40,000 homes and passing up to 750,000 fish annually through the fish lift, this nearly 2,500-acre property enables the District to participate in outreach efforts with the community.
“There are three events throughout the year that allow us to give back and interact with the general public in this large outdoor space,” he said. “Those are the Sweetgrass Pull, Veteran and Wounded Warrior Fishing Day and Veteran and Wounded Warrior Dove Hunt. Please follow our social media channels to make sure to stay up-to-date on when those events happen.”
Glass assumed the duties of operations division chief in April 2021 after serving as the navigation branch chief for six years. Before joining USACE, he worked for 20 years with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast.
“I had wanted to come back to Charleston,” said Glass. “I had been in Jacksonville for nine years and wanted to be closer to family. I had hoped to find a position in USACE that was similar to my role in NAVFAC. I knew some people here, I understood the mission and the mission really resonated with me.”
Glass currently has 31 employees under him, in various specialty areas.
Glass grew up in Bangor, Maine, but moved to Charleston in 1980 just before his 18th birthday.
“At this point, I consider Charleston my home,” said Glass.