DENR now DEQ – environment agency changes names

DENR DEQRALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is no more – the name, at least. With the signing of the budget into law Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory also signed a reorganization of executive departments. As part of that process, the state attractions that were part of DENR — now named the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality — have moved to the Department of Cultural Resources — now named the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

“There are many benefits to housing all of the state’s attractions under one agency whose mission is to conserve and promote our state-owned treasures,” DENR DEQ spokeswoman Michele Walker wrote in a blog post. “The transfer is consistent with the governor’s vision for government efficiency and will allow the Department of Environmental Quality to focus its efforts on environmental protection, regulation and energy policy.”

The move of the state attractions was originally proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory in his State of the State address in early 2015 and was included in his proposed budget. Divisions involved in the move are the state aquariums (Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Fisher), the state parks, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the N.C. Zoo.

Walker says the process to change names will take a few months — for the “online presence,” at least. No word on how long it will take to change out all those signs, stationery, business cards and everything else — or the cost involved.