The Eastern Carolina Council is one of sixteen multi-county planning and development regions in the State. Regional Councils are governed by local public and private sector appointments. These Councils are forums where local officials determine priorities for the larger area in which their communities are an integral part. Region P is located in East-Central North Carolina. It has a land mass of 5,710 square miles and a population of over 644,000 in the region's nine counties (Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, and Wayne). The ECC was first established as the Neuse River Council of Governments in 1967. In 1999 the Board elected to change the name to the Eastern Carolina Council.
The ECC provides the organizational mechanism for local elected officials to meet and deal with region-wide issues. By joining together, local governments create a valuable instrument for crossing political jurisdictions (because problems do) and a system for cooperation and coordination, now a requirement of most funding agencies. The concept also makes possbile a single overall group of leaders for coordinating plans, programs and projects to deal with common problems and challenges and achieve mutual goals and objectives.