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Photo Information

A volunteer removes pickleweed, an invasive plant species, during a Nu’upia Ponds wildlife management area restoration event held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, March 16, 2024. The event was part of an ongoing effort to preserve the Nu’upia Ponds WMA, consisting of shorelines/beaches, fishponds, wetlands, and vegetated areas that provide a habitat for endangered native species. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Estridge)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Estridge

Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Mission: Marine Corps REPI Program Advances Marine Corps Community Partnership and Mission Protection

29 Apr 2024 | Matt Wright Marine Corps Installations Command, MCICOM

The Marine Corps Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, commonly known as REPI, made significant headway for advancing Marine Corps community partnerships and installation objectives in 2023.  

“To date, the Marine Corps REPI program has leveraged funding to protect or manage more than 112,000 acres across eight installations and ranges in five states,” said Ryan Catlett, Mission Sustainment Lead at Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM). “In FY23, the Marine Corps closed on ten REPI projects, totaling over 8,000 acres, and leveraging $9M in DOD REPI funds and $6.3M in partner funds towards projects across the country. We are proud to find mutually beneficial partnerships from South Carolina to Guam which protect vital land, sea, and air resources for both our neighbors and the Marine Corps mission.”  

The REPI program generates win-win solutions for Marine Corps installations and surrounding communities by alleviating encroachment pressure on the installations. The program’s goals also include building installation resilience to threats from natural disasters, which may erode shorelines, damage and destroy buildings, and threaten water quality. All of this work is accomplished at nearly 50-50 cost share between the DoD and non-governmental organization (NGO), state, and local partners. 

For more than a decade, the REPI program has hosted its annual REPI Challenge, a competition that awards dedicated funding to projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to solving large-scale conservation challenges. The 2024 winners of the REPI Challenge include several Marine Corps installations: Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii, MCB Camp Blaz, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island.  

In the Pacific, Joint Region Marianas began implementing two new projects on the island of Guam to improve watersheds and safeguard fragile but essential ecosystems, which are threatened by rising sea levels, wildfires, and storms. This coordinated action by the DoD, Guam Department of Agriculture, and other partners benefits all military installations on the island as well as the people of Guam.  

Other REPI Challenge efforts address invasive species across nearly 65,000 acres in Hawaii. Installations, including MCB Hawaii, aim to achieve healthy reef conservation and environmental resilience in partnership with the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources and local communities. 

This $15.8 million project, funded through a combination of FY23 and FY24 REPI Challenge funding and partner funding, will increase water supply and quality, decrease risk of wildfires, enhance storm resistance, and reduce invasive species in the area to support the mission and readiness of Marines stationed on the island.  

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, MCRD Parris Island and MCAS Beaufort have protected Gregorie Neck, a 4,409-acre property located in the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry Sentinel Landscape, in coordination with conservation partners. This action is possible thanks to $6 million from REPI Challenge funding and participating conservation partners and will prevent incompatible land use, enhance climate resilience, and protect water quality for those on and near the installations. Conservation projects like this one help to protect the essential missions of MCRD Parris Island and nearby MCAS Beaufort, which can be threatened by population growth coupled with loss of habitat and stressed infrastructure. 

MCICOM’s global mission spans 25 installations covering 2.5 million acres worldwide. These installations serve as Marine Corps force projection platforms responsible for housing, equipping, and training Marines in support of the mission. As communities grow closer to once-remote installations, it can become more difficult for Marines to properly train.   

“REPI plays an essential role in protecting land and wildlife habitat while alleviating encroachment pressure to our bases and stations,” said Catlett. “Without utilizing the REPI authorities granted us by the Congress along with our NGO, state and local partnerships, it would be exceptionally difficult for the Marine Corps to maintain the training flexibility needed to undergo one of the greatest modernizations and transformations in its history.”    

As the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, the Marine Corps must bolster its installations with an eye on the mission and sound stewardship of the precious national resources entrusted to us by the American people.   

To learn more about MCICOM, visit


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