DVIDS – News – MCBH partners with DLNR and others to support the $8.7 million REPI Challenge project, which targets invasive species in waters around the Mokapu Peninsula


MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII – As part of the Department of Defense (DoD) 2023 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge, Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) has partnered with the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and other key partners in support of an $8.7 million project ($3.4 million in REPI program funding and $5.6 million in partner contributions) on invasive species management and water resource conservation of O’ahu by protecting and enhancing native ecosystems. Currently, coral reefs in Kāne’ohe Bay and Kailua Bay help protect MCBH from the effects of large surf, strong currents and storm surges. These coral reefs are threatened and impacted by invasive species. Without healthy, intact reefs around the Mokapu Peninsula, MCBH will not be protected from storms that are increasing in intensity due to climate change. This project leverages the development of eDNA technology to detect invasive aquatic species in Hawaiian ports and the proliferation of native sea urchins to combat widespread invasive algae in Kāne’ohe Bay.

This innovative project requires close partnership and coordination to achieve the shared benefits of maintaining healthy reefs, increased climate resilience and improved installation resilience. Through a joint effort with the State of Hawaii, this project will strengthen Hawaii’s coasts and reduce high-impact invasive species in the vicinity of MCBH.

As the Pacific region grows in strategic importance, the REPI program has continued to increase its efforts to conserve and protect cultural, natural, and land resources that benefit Hawaiians and the DoD mission. The 2023 REPI Challenge in Hawaii contributed $10 million in REPI program funding, which is matched with $18.5 million in partner contributions. The 2023 Hawaii REPI Challenge projects will conserve and protect cultural, natural and land resources on the windward side of Oahu and across the state near three other Hawaii-based facilities – the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, the Pōhakuloa Training Area and of the US Army Garrison – Hawaii.

“The Department of Defense is committed to environmental stewardship, and these projects in partnership with the DLNR are a testament to that commitment,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Mark Hashimoto, mobilization assistant, Commander US Indo-Pacific Command. “The military in Hawaii will always play a key role in defending our nation, region and world, and while we fulfill that unfailing mission, it is imperative that we also protect the land and water for future generations.”

Projects in the Indo-Pacific region will help implement partnership efforts focused on improving coastal and forest resilience, benefiting the long-term sustainability of MCBH, our local communities and other military installations around Hawaii. To learn more about the recipients of this year’s Hawai’i REPI Challenge funding, visit: www.repi.mil/Buffer-Projects/REPI-Challenge.


1st Lt. Mark McDonough
Communication Strategy and Operations Officer
Marine Corps Base Hawaii
(808) 257-1397
[email protected]

Date of recording: 01/02/2023
Release Date: 01/02/2023 01:40
Story ID: 437592

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