From staff reports
The Department of Defense has awarded a grant to the Lowcountry Council of Governments – in partnership with Beaufort County, the City of Beaufort and the Town of Port Royal – to prepare a Military Installation Resilience Review for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, and the surrounding communities.
It is a new Department of Defense planning grant program, and it is one of the first awarded. This project will be a cooperative, strategic process among MCAS Beaufort, MCRD Parris Island and the surrounding communities.
According to a news release, the goal is to develop strategies and an implementation plan to protect resources necessary to maintain military installations in relation to natural hazards. Although it may not be possible to contain natural disasters and long-terms conditions such as sea level rise, it is possible to plan and make changes in physical structures and procedures to safely accommodate and prevent damage, and even potential loss of mission.
This project is a natural next step after the Sea-Level Rise study, which was a product of the same team five years ago.
Unlike many military facilities, the surrounding communities and organizations provide much of the infrastructure for both MCRD Parris Island and MCAS Beaufort. Infrastructure provided locally includes sewer and water treatment and distribution facilities, electrical power and the roads and bridges that provide access to the bases.
The surrounding communities also supply a large share of the medical care, residential, social, economic, educational (from pre-school to post-secondary), retail and other services for the military population.
The 18-month project will determine what changes and improvements to the area’s infrastructure are needed and then how to feasibly and realistically implement those recommendations in order to ensure that MCAS Beaufort and MCRD Parris Island are able to continue their operations successfully.