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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Solar Power: Environmental Security, 7th ESB ensure cleanliness in Lake O’Neill

By Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | August 4, 2020


The Resource Management Branch with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s Environmental Security Department worked with U.S. Marines to repair and install three solar-powered water circulators into Pendleton’s Lake O'Neill, Aug 4.

The floating water circulators had been removed earlier so officials with Resource Management could replace motors in the units.

“The lake is a great resource for the Marines and families to have,” said Damien Cie, an aquatic species biologist with the RMB. “The reason we put the circulators out is to help the overall military recreational welfare.”

The water circulators help prevent algal growth and improve oxygenation in Lake O'Neill by mixing and aerating the water throughout the lake. The machines can churn approximately 10,000 gallons of water per minute. Because the units are solar powered, they also save on electricity that would normally be used to run electric aerators.

The circulators typically stay in the lake from spring to fall, but due to the maintenance needs were temporarily removed. Once the units were again ready for the water, Marines with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, assisted in the transport and delivery of the devices, bringing them back to the lake and lowering them in the water. Resource Management personnel then towed the units in place and turned them back on.

“It feels good to help keep the lake clean,” said U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Bryce Larez, a heavy equipment operator with Support Company, 7th ESB. “It was tricky getting it down the ramp, but we are just doing what we do.”

Environmental Security’s role on Camp Pendleton is to maintain compliance with federal environmental guidelines. Camp Pendleton is home to over a dozen threatened and endangered species, and Environmental Security ensures that the wildlife and their habitats are maintained so that the Marines are able to train on the installation.