News: Cooper's EO Gives Critical Support for Wetlands Resiliency

Gov. Roy Cooper's Executive Order 305, setting ambitious, necessary new conservation goals for forests and wetlands, is an important move to safeguard natural areas and communities across North Carolina.

"Governor Cooper's conservation targets are laudable and far-sighted, and are critically needed in light of shortsighted actions by our state legislature and the U.S. Supreme Court," said Erin Carey, Interim State Director of the N.C. Sierra Club Chapter. "The long-term preservation of our state's wetlands is paramount. It's not just environmentally essential to protect these areas, it's economically savvy to allow nature to play its full role in protecting our communities."

The Supreme Court's ruling in May, coupled with the Farm Act passed in June, opened millions of acres of North Carolina wetlands to development. That jeopardizes not only habitat for native and endangered species, but undermines natural processes that protect water quality, preserve fisheries, and significantly mitigate destructive flooding and the impacts of climate change.
Cooper's order, issued Monday, calls for permanently conserving 1 million new acres of forests and wetlands, restoring 1 million new acres of forests and wetlands, and planting 1 million new trees in urban areas by 2040, along with policies and projects to safeguard the state's natural areas.