Cities and counties have a fairly limited role in wetlands protection. The provisions for North Carolina’s Wetlands Restoration Program are found at §§ 143-214.8 to 214.13 within Article 21 of Chapter 143. It is a statewide, non-regulatory program established within and operated by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the purposes of restoring wetlands and replacing critical wetlands functions. § 143-214.8, § 143-214.9. As part of the program, DENR manages a Wetlands Restoration Fund, through which local governments may procure funding to purchase conservation easements for wetlands protection. § 143-241.12. Local governments are required to grant any such easements to DENR, although DENR may then convey the interest back to the local government. § 143-214.12(a1).