Fellows in the News
Posted by Lauren Hertel on Thursday, February 23 2017


Lily Verdone

Many environmentalists have expressed concern about the incoming Trump Administration, since several of the President-elect’s picks for cabinet appointments are people who question the human impact on climate. Many fear a government pullback from efforts to combat climate change. The Department of Defense, however, is continuing work to adapt its bases to deal with possible threats associated with a warmer planet.

Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu sits on the Pacific coast about 90 minutes above Los Angeles. The base contains multiple warfare systems and houses deployable units like the Pacific Seabees and the West Coast E-2C Hawkeyes.


The base has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help inform its decision making. Lily Verdone, coastal project director for the Nature Conservancy in California, said the agreement signed last summer was pioneering.

“This is the first public private partnership to address climate adaptation on Department of Defense lands,” Verdone said.

The Nature Conservancy has reduced the project’s costs, because it already has a lot of research and mapping resources in house. Verdone said the Navy also stands to save by incorporating as many soft solutions as possible.

“We’ve been finding that it’s, in the long term, a lot cheaper where you can to rely on nature,” Verdone said. “Looking at how we can maintain the beaches, maintain our floodplains, maintain sand dunes to use as that natural defense.”

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