News: Natural resources manager receives state-level conservation honors
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
RALEIGH, N.C. - Carmen Lombardo arrived at Cherry Point in 2007 to begin what would become an award-winning chapter in his career as a natural resources manager. Lombardo accepted the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust Conservation award for his work during his first year in this region.
Now, six years later, he has upped his game by capturing a state-level award – the 2013 North Carolina Land Trust Government Conservation Partner of the Year Award. Lombardo accepted the award in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday with his co-winner, Carla Roth, a supervisory real estate contracting officer for the Navy.
“When I received the email informing me of this honor I was in shock,” said Lombardo. “To be recognized locally six years ago is one thing, but being recognized by the state is somewhat overwhelming.”
This annual award recognizes the individual or agency that has shown a sustained and outstanding commitment to partnering with land trusts for conservation initiatives, or has actively supported public policies with a positive influence on land and water preservation in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust nominated Lombardo for his continued efforts in working with the land trust to maintain the area surrounding the air station and its assets.
Lombardo’s efforts over the past year have helped ensure the safety of local communities near bombing ranges and safe flight paths for aircraft operating from Cherry Point.
“It is my job to ensure that the flight patterns these aircraft take don’t get obstructed by tall buildings,” said Lombardo. “Also our bombing ranges have become so commonly used by joint force operations that we need to ensure the land and waters around it are safe from intrusions. I do everything I can to make sure the community and the air station work together to guarantee the safety of both Marine Corps aircraft and the environment surrounding the area.”
According to the award nomination, both Lombardo and Roth are responsible for carrying out long-term partnerships with the coastal land trust specifically to conserve lands with military and conservation significance in and around Cherry Point and the outlying landing fields in Carteret County. Along with the coastal land trust, they have promoted an aggressive and successful land conservation effort with 15 specific projects targeted for conservation.