From Preservation to Construction

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Protecting – Enhancing – Restoring – Creating

Wetlands have been, and continue to be, changed by natural events and human activities, in North Carolina and around the world. Human activities include agriculture, mining, logging/forestry, bridge construction, industrial/commercial development, housing development, road construction, utilities, water supplies, building boat ramps and bulkheads, and others. These changes can have temporary and/or permanent effects on wetlands.

Changes to wetlands can be prevented by preserving (protecting) wetlands before the changes take place, and wetlands can be enhanced (improved) or restored (changed back to a wetland) to try to replace some losses caused by changes to wetlands. New wetlands can also be created, when conditions are right, to try to produce some benefits that natural wetlands provide.

In North Carolina, many organizations are working to preserve wetlands, especially land conservancies. Wetland enhancement and restoration in North Carolina can be done through private consultants, the Division of Mitigation Services (DMS: a North Carolina state agency), or mitigation banks. It is difficult to return wetlands to their original form, but efforts and improvements continue to be made.


  • Preservation (conservation easement)
  • Enhancement
  • Restoration
  • Creation


  • In-lieu
  • Bankers
  • Land conservancies