Press Releases

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune wins its 10th Environmental Restoration Award
1 May 2024

Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune Environmental Management Division (EMD) was recently awarded the 2024 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for “Environmental Restoration, Installation.” As a ten-time winner of this award, EMD is responsible for managing an ecologically diverse installation that boasts 72,000 acres of upland forests, 49,000 acres of wetlands, 26,000 acres of water and 7,500 acres of developed land. Through multiple lines of effort, EMD continuously ensures protection of those living, working, and training on MCB Camp Lejeune.

Their accomplishments over the last year included winning the EPA’s National Notable Achievement Award for Federal Facilities Excellence in Partnering Team of the Year. The award recognized the hard work the partnering team put into cleaning up Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) sites across Camp Lejeune, said Thomas Richard, installation restoration section head and partnering team member for EMD, MCB Camp Lejeune. 

Additionally, EMD worked closely with the EPA and NC Department of Environmental Quality to develop work plans for remedial investigations at 12 sites detailing the extent of any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and evaluating any potential human, health and ecological risks. 

“I could not be prouder of the accomplishments of our Environmental Management Division, and this latest recognition of our Installation Restoration team is well deserved,” said Brig. Gen. Adolfo Garcia Jr., commanding general, Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune.   

MCB Camp Lejeune has been actively engaged in environmental investigations and remediation programs since 1981. Through collaborative relationships with regulatory agencies and the local community, EMD has made continuous progress in investigating and cleaning over 500 sites to-date. “It’s undoubtably a challenge to assess and remediate contaminated sites that (for some) have existed since the base began operations in the 1940’s,” said Robert Lowder, director, Environmental Management Division. “The real challenge is in the development of relationships and trust with the regulatory community through partnerships – which is where the Installation Restoration Section excels.” 

During the past year, EMD has eliminated over 2,000 gallons of liquid sampling waste, treated 100,000 gallons of groundwater using solar power and recycled nearly 6,800 pounds of metallic debris recovered during munitions clearance.  

EMD oversees a complex Military Munitions Response Program, addressing military munitions, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and chemical residues of munitions at locations that are not operational ranges. Over the last year, EMD has conducted munitions surface clearance for over 129 acres, reducing the risk of human contact with UXO. During this period, 50 munition items were removed which allowed for development within 70% of the area. 

EMD also runs the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) which encourages installation personnel and members of the local community to attend quarterly meetings that highlight on-going and planned restoration efforts. Part of the RAB includes a Community Involvement Plan, which began in 1990 and provides information on community involvement, was most recently completed in 2020, and is updated every five years.  

“As a world class training facility, we often devote considerable attention to Camp Lejeune’s primary mission of enabling Marines to train to fight,” said Garcia. “But equally important is our obligation to take care of this installation at every level, and that means being responsible stewards of our environment. Bravo Zulu to all involved!” 

Garcia presented the award plaque to Jessica Pierson, Thomas Richard, Laura Sprung and David Towler, all members of the MCB Camp Lejeune EMD, during a small ceremony on May 1, 2024.  

“It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of our partnering team and EMD. We have the luxury of working with staff and organizations that support and facilitate restoration at the installation,” said Richard. “This award demonstrates not only our hard work, but the consistency of installation staff and our partnering team to come together to find solutions to emerging challenges.” 

The Environmental Management Division (EMD) promotes protecting human health, conservation of natural and cultural resources, and compliance with regulatory requirements. For more information, visit their website at  

If you are interested in attending the next RAB or becoming a member, contact 910-451-9641 or email

To view photos from today’s presentation, please visit: