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Defense Coastal / Estuarine Research Program
DCERP was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to demonstrate the science behind ecosystem-based management at a DoD coastal installation. An ecosystem-based management approach is required by all DoD facilities. This means that lands must be managed to sustain ecologically important ecosystems, while continuing to support their military training needs.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC was selected as the host installation for this 10-year integrated research and monitoring program. The results of the monitoring and research efforts are being used to identify ecosystem indicators and develop associated threshold values, tools, or models to inform DoD installation management needs.
DCERP was implemented in two contract periods. DCERP1 was conducted from July 2006 through January 2013 and focused on understanding coastal and estuarine ecosystem composition, structure, and function within the context of a military training environment. DCERP2 started in February 2013 and will continue through October 2017. DCERP2 was developed to understand how coastal and estuarine ecosystems respond to climate change and to understand what environmental conditions result in changes to the carbon cycles in these ecosystems.