NC - Town Seeks Wetlands Policy
Following a presentation by Rick Savage and his team of wetlands advocates on July 13, Swansboro commissioners agreed that it is time to bring in the Swansboro Planning Board for a discussion with this group of experts.
Commissioners want to find a way to provide some assurance that policy in the town’s 2019 Land-Use Plan can be – if not codified – fashioned in a way to incentivize wetlands preservation.
Savage, president of the nonprofit Carolina Wetlands Association, can help make that happen. As a former state employee – he was hired by the N.C. Division of Water Quality of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to work on a wetlands monitoring project in 2004 – he brings a wealth of knowledge on, not only the importance of wetlands, but also the best ways to preserve them under state law.
“The organization has a good relationship with a lot of state agencies,” he told commissioners in explaining how the Carolina Wetlands Association might be able to assist Swansboro in its effort to plan, and perhaps fund, wetlands preservation and restoration.
Protection of wetlands and environmentally sensitive areas was a “major theme” in the public participation survey for the 2019 LUP, complete by 4.5 percent of the town’s adult population. In fact, nearly 90 percent of the respondents agreed that “streams, wetlands, and areas important for water quality or wildlife” should be preserved.