George Howard

Co-founder / CEO

George is responsible for identifying growth opportunities for Restoration Systems outside of North Carolina and for the implementation of innovative mitigation in North Carolina. He is also a respected speaker for legislative and mitigation policy progress in the industry as a whole.

Working as staff in the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. from 1990 to 1996, George was responsible for environmental public policy, particularly wetlands, water quality and species issues. He recognized mitigation banking as an opportunity to return home to North Carolina and moved to Raleigh in 1996 to help sponsor the state’s first successful large-scale mitigation bank — the 660 acre Cape Fear Regional Mitigation Bank, now in its 16th year of documented ecological success. His determination to make North Carolina a leader in private sector environmental mitigation led George to found Restoration Systems with John Preyer in 1998.

George has produced a number of cutting edge mitigation projects for Restoration Systems; including, the nation’s first large scale dam removals for compensatory mitigation, the nation’s first two retail water quality and nutrient off-set banks, and the largest stream mitigation bank in the United States (servicing Harris County and Houston, Texas).

George has testified to the U.S. Congress in support of the industry, is a former six year Director of the National Mitigation Banking Association, and a regular presenter at regional and national environmental conferences.

He was appointed in July 2012 by North Carolina Senator Pro-Tem Phillip Berger to the newly formed NC Mining and Energy Commission, charged with writing the rules for natural gas exploration in North Carolina, and in 2011 as a Trustee of the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund. In 2006 then Governor Michael Easley named George to the state’s Land and Water Conservation Study Commission. He recently joined the boards of the North Carolina Museum of History Associates and the First Flight Foundation of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

A 1989 Political Science graduate of the University of North Carolina, George grew up in rural Guilford County along the Deep River. He is the grandson of two engineers, and continues a family tradition of water related heavy construction. The former Paul N. Howard Company and Howard International completed more than 4,000 water quality projects in the Southeastern U.S. and twenty foreign countries. George and his wife Pam have two children, Georgia (10), and Henry (7), and live seven minutes from RS in Raleigh.

George posts regularly as the Swamp Merchant for Restoration Systems’ cutting-edge mitigation blog, Stories from the Field