WHY EEP MATTERS
Through the Ecosystem Enhancement Program, North Carolina has altered the way that the state confronts a challenge with serious implications for economic growth and the state’s overall quality of life. EEP facilitates the delivery of crucial projects that help to drive the state’s economy, and restores, enhances and protects the state’s wetlands, waterways and natural areas for future generations.
Five, ten, fifteen years ago, mitigation was a real challenge and it continues to be in a lot of states. North Carolina has picked the lock on that riddle, and (EEP) is a testament to that.” -- testimony of a private-sector mitigation banker before the N.C. legislature
While the N.C. Department of Transportation historically has been EEP’s major customer -– EEP has helped advance more than $8 billion in road projects since 2003 without a single delay because of a lack of environmental permits -- EEP also carries out compensatory mitigation on a voluntary basis for local governments, schools, churches, developers, the military and landowners.
EEP combines these functions into a single, focused entity with specific goals for proactive mitigation under a programmatic approach -- not the project-by-project strategy that had defined mitigation in the past. In doing so, the initiative advances environmental stewardship through the identification of unique enhancement opportunities that provide both benefits and protection to the state's natural resources.