DEQ Stewardship Program Overview

The DEQ Stewardship Program works to ensure that conservation properties and easements held by the State of North Carolina are managed to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and provide open space. The program was created with the enactment of the North Carolina Conservation Easements Program (N.C.G.S. 113A-230) and the Conservation Grant Fund (N.C.G.S. 113A-232). The Stewardship Program is responsible for the stewardship of easements and lands that have been acquired as compensatory mitigation by the Division of Mitigation Services (DMS) and individual permit holders. Currently the program stewards approximately 21,700 conservation acres across North Carolina. 

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and NC Division of Water Resources (DWR) require regular monitoring of conservation easements associated with stream and wetland mitigation as described in the Federal Rule for Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources, April 10 ,2008 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332 and 40 CFR Part 230,). Regular monitoring of conservation easements is also an expectation of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as described in the Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S. Code § 170 - Charitable, etc., contributions and gifts, Section (f). Our conservation properties are monitored by DEQ staff and program partners including the State Property Office, Land Trust organizations, and local government entities.

Contact us by email at or by phone at 919-707-8536 for additional program information.