advocacy

The Eno River Association advocates for parkland and natural area protection, water quality preservation, and community planning that incorporates efficient and environmentally sound land use, water use, and transportation systems. Our goal is to increase public appreciation for the environment and awareness of environmental threats, and to change outcomes that would otherwise threaten important natural areas in the Eno River watershed.

The Association works with local, state and federal government and with other conservation organizations to conserve and protect the environment as a whole and the Eno River basin in particular.  In particular, we work to mobilize our base of friends and members to take action and share their voices to protect the Eno.

Join our Land Use & Advocacy Committee 

The Land Use and Advocacy Committee will:

  • Create policy documents
  • Craft responses/positions for incoming development threats & opportunities
  • Monitor incoming development projects; update and mobilize staff, board, volunteers when needed
  • Write content & select images for communication pieces
  • Build and manage relationships with elected officials in the watershed

Please email us at association@enoriver.org to learn more or join us!

Current Opportunities and Threats

Blackmeadow Ridge / West Point development (Durham City): The proposed high-density development includes 278 townhomes and 101 single family units on an area just south of the West Point on the Eno City Park. The is Association partnering with a group of concerned neighbors to stop the project. Flooding is already common in the area, and there are no considerations on affordable housing. Take action!

Eno Venture Park: We are keeping an eye on the Eno Venture Park plan. The proposed industrial site sits on 160 acres between Hamlin and Old Oxford roads. It has the potential to impact water quality with its proximity to the Eno River. Citizens are welcomed to contact us to learn more or to support our outreach and assessment efforts.

Research Triangle Logistics Park (Orange County): The Research Triangle Logistics Park (RTLP) is an incoming 161-acre warehouse complex could be built on the headwaters of a tributary to the Eno River, near the intersection of Old 86 and Davis Road in Hillsborough. The Association joined the call in telling the Commissioners that the site plan did not go far enough to protect neighbors from impacts, nor protect the water quality and quantity within Cates Creek and the Eno. The Commissioners approved the slightly amended project in October 2020. We will be looking for ways to support the developer in protecting the nearby natural resources as this project moves forward. Learn more at SaveHillsborough.com

Success Stories

Buc-ees project cancelled!

In 2021, the Eno River Association joined local neighbors and A Voice For Efland to oppose the rezoning petition submitted by Buc-ee’s to develop one of the largest gas stations in the world – Buc-ee’s Travel Center at Efland Station – between the I-85/40 exits 160 and 161 in Efland, North Carolina. The proposal would have included a very large (100 pump) gas station, retail store, 120 room hotel, a retail/restaurant mini mall, 7 acres of road and 8 acres of parking – all of which would have drained into Sevenmile Creek, a major tributary of the Eno River.

After months of pressure, public meetings, and hard questions from local officials, on February 5, 2021, Buc-ee’s withdrew their application for this project.

“While development is important to our communities, it must be done in a way that fits with existing uses, current zoning designations, and preserves our natural assets. Efland Station’s plan didn’t fit, and we are satisfied with their decision to withdraw their application,” said Executive Director of the Eno River Association, Jessica Sheffield.

Thank you, Eno Family, for your engagement in this advocacy for our neighbors, our streams, and our community!

Threats to Land & Legacy Funds (Orange County)

Since 2000 over $8 million in other funding–from grants and landowner donations–has been raised for land protection due to the Lands Legacy Program and Conservation Easement Program. In the summer & fall of 2020, Orange County Commissioners reviewed amendments to the County’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that would impact these funds. Members & citizens mobilized to protect these funds in 2020 and beyond.