Navy Department Hosts Climate Resilience Meeting in Hawaii

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160730-M-CP369-1110 MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII (July 30, 2016) – Australian, New Zealand and U.S. Marines land on the beach using a rigid-hull inflatable boat during an amphibious landing as part of Rim of the Pacific 2016 at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Hawaii, July 30. Troops from 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Provisional Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Hawaii came from HMAS Canberra to the beach during a coordinated amphibious assault with battalion forces from the landing team of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines landing on Pyramid Rock Beach from the USS San Diego. The landings are part of the free-play scenario phase of RIMPAC 16. (US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. William L. Holdaway)

Stakeholders included representatives from local, state and federal organizations, including the University of Hawaii, the State of Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources, the Hawaii Office of Planning and Sustainable State of Hawaii, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Army Corps of Engineers, District of Honolulu. Attendees shared ongoing initiatives and opportunities to collaborate on implementing nature-based solutions to improve the resilience of Department of the Navy facilities, as well as neighboring communities and ecosystems in Hawaii.

“When we think about developing nature-based solutions, we also need to think about developing our partnerships,” said Dr. Todd Bridges, National Lead, EWN and U.S. Army Senior Researcher for Environmental Sciences. “Collaboration is needed to develop and implement innovative nature-based solutions that are more socially acceptable, viable, equitable, and ultimately support the resilience of facilities and communities.

Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) tours with EWN

220926-N-LZ409-1030 KEKAHA, HI (Sept. 26, 2022) – Members of the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Environmental Team and Engineering with Nature (EWN) visitors discuss possible solutions to shoreline erosion during a tour. EWN is the intentional alignment of natural and engineered processes to provide economic, environmental and social benefits through collaboration. PMRF is the world’s largest instrumented multi-environment range capable of simultaneously supporting surface, underground, air and space operations. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bodie Estep)

Navy and Marine Corps installations face increasing challenges from natural hazards such as extreme rainfall, drought, and coastal erosion, all of which are exacerbated by climate change. To address these threats, DON has partnered with EWN for a series of workshops and assessments covering eleven facilities over the past year. Teams of scientists, engineers, landscape architects and planners visited facilities subject to various environmental stressors, such as Naval Air Station Key West, Florida and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, to meet with personnel and develop landscape-scale projects that address their resilience challenges.

September 26 to 29e, a team visited sites at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Marine Corps Base Hawaii where natural hazards directly threaten critical infrastructure. From mountain-based instrumentation to beach landing zones and subterranean ocean ranges, the DON relies on the health of Hawaii’s diverse ecosystems, on and off military property, to support its mission.

“Nature-based resilience is key to building a climate-ready force,” said Ms. Deborah Loomis, the Secretary of the Navy’s senior advisor on climate change. “From the Pacific Missile Range Facility to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, we have seen opportunities to deploy nature-based solutions that will better enable our mission and increase the resilience of surrounding ecosystems. We must work with and learn from our local partners to address climate threats in our shared facilities and communities. »

The DON and the Ministry of Defense have a long history of engaging in large-scale conservation projects to support resilience. For example, the Department of Defense’s Environmental Preparedness and Protection Integration Program (REPI) recently awarded nearly $15 million to the State of Hawaii, in partnership with the Navy, for the restoration and protection of the Waiawa watershed. This project will improve 7,155 acres of native upland forest to support Pearl Harbor aquifer recharge and reduce downstream flooding from storms.

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