Exploring Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program

By Kyle Simpson | Posted on March 2, 2022

DoD REPI 410

In continuing to provide learning opportunities and resources that may be beneficial to NRPA members — including various federal resources — we wanted to share information on the Department of Defense (DoD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program.  

The DoD funds the REPI Program, which reduces the potential for land-use conflict around sites of military importance. The DoD enters into partnerships with local governments, park departments, or districts and state governments to buy land that can provide mutually beneficial services to both parties. Regulations and zoning conflicts from commercial or residential land uses could limit the full capabilities of military exercises and activities; the REPI program offers the unique two-fold opportunity to preserve military capabilities and provide ample land for conservation efforts. Beyond providing a buffer zone, the program can also help provide mitigation and ecosystem banking services, helping to increase resiliency in the area and offsetting habitat alteration occurring on military sites.

The program — which is authorized through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and is funded in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act every year — receives broad bipartisan support. In President Biden’s budget request to Congress for FY2022, he requested a historic $150 million in the NDAA and DoD appropriations for the program. The administration has identified the REPI Program as a key part of achieving their 30x30 goal, which outlines a plan to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and freshwater and 30 percent of U.S. ocean areas by 2030. This offers a unique opportunity for NRPA members to apply for the program for a variety of resources, thereby increasing the parklands and green spaces they can provide for their communities at a fraction of the standard cost.

Of particular interest is the REPI Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, which is a “coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that work to advance mutually beneficial land-use goals in project areas known as sentinel landscapes.” The program helps to advance environmentally important goals by leveraging the collective power of the organizations involved, thereby optimizing funds and resources.

The DoD offers a series of webinars each year on how to best utilize the REPI program. They highlight successful partnerships, discuss best practices and offer tutorials on how to utilize the program. These webinars take place nearly monthly. You can also sign up for the monthly newsletter here, or view DoD resources on implementing REPI funding in their series of primers. If you have questions specific to your project application, you can also utilize the form submission service on the webpage or sign up for the listserv here

Kyle Simpson (he/him) is NRPA’s director of government affairs.