Todd Miller is the founder and executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit with over 16,000 supporters working for a healthier North Carolina coast.
A coastal North Carolina native from the community of Ocean in Carteret County, it was here in 1982 that Miller found his passion—working to keep the coast a great place to live, work and play. Forming partnerships and rallying volunteers, Miller grew the organization from a one-man (and a dog) venture in a back room of his house to three offices covering the North Carolina coast. With 30+ staffers and a multi-million-dollar budget targeted for educating the public, advocating for a clean coast and restoring water quality and shorelines, the Federation takes on projects, and partners with others in hundreds of endeavors that influence these priorities.
A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which he holds undergraduate and master’s degrees, Miller was selected as a distinguished alumnus by the university in 2013 and honored with a 2015 “Hero of the Seas” award by the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Along with numerous other awards and recognitions, Miller is a founding board member and still serves on the board of Restore America’s Estuaries and currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the UNC Institute for the Environment and as a board member on the Leadership Committee for the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership.
Since the launch of the Federation, Miller has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the threats to the coast and advocate for access to clean coastal waters. In bringing together like-minded folks from all walks of life, from fishers to paddlers to boaters and beachcombers, the Federation under Miller’s leadership has succeeded in protecting and restoring tens of thousands of acres of North Carolina coast.
Lauren Kolodij is Deputy Director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation. She has worked with the Federation since 1982. Lauren collaborates with state and local government agencies, consultants, businesses, academia, non-profits and other sectors to advance nature-based stormwater strategies to
and low-impact development policy and practices. Lauren is liaison to the Coastal Federation’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee and is staff lead of the Federation’s board level Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Lauren has a BS Environmental Conservation from North Carolina State University. When not at work, Lauren loves hiking, collecting vintage trinkets and spending time with her two kids.
Assistant Editor, Coastal Review
Based at headquarters, Jenn creates content for Coastal Review Online and assists with managing the website and social media. She comes to CRO after having served as public information officer for the Town of Beaufort and almost 10 years at the Carteret County News-Times as the society editor. She has also written for Our State Magazine and other regional and statewide publications. Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Appalachian State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned her master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Originally from Swansboro, she now lives in Morehead City.
Coastal Management Program Director
Kerri joined the Federation in 2018 and manages our regional office in Wrightsville Beach. As a Coastal Advocate, she represents the Federation’s stance on key advocacy issues and works to represent the public’s voice at local, state and federal levels to ensure that actions are taken to safeguard North Carolina’s water quality, coastal environment and economy. A North Carolina native, Kerri holds a master’s degree in coastal geology and undergraduate degrees in geosciences, environmental studies and geospatial technologies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In her spare time, you can find Kerri paddling and swimming our beautiful coastal waters.
Resilience/Climate Adaption Coordinator - Eastern NC Sentinel Landscape (ENCSL)
Chris Baillie joined the Federation in 2022 as Resilience/Climate Adaptation Coordinator for the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape (ENCSL). Chris is originally from Durham, NC, and holds a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As Resilience/Climate Adaptation Coordinator, Chris, working in coordination with the ENCSL Coordinator, Committee, Partnership, and military installations, is leading a broad group of public and private partners in the development and implementation of a Strategic Resilience/Climate Adaptation Plan for the ENCSL. In his free time, Chris is an outdoors enthusiast.
Coastal Education Coordinator
Rachel, from Pine Level, North Carolina, joined the Federation in 2013 after volunteering for several years. She holds a Master of Science in coastal marine and wetland studies from Coastal Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Previously, Rachel worked as an educator in multiple coastal education centers, as a marine research technician and as a state park naturalist. Her background lies in linking coastal environments with education and outreach.
Victoria joined the Federation in June 2022 as the Northeast Region’s Coastal Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a specialization in Environmental Education and Interpretation from Bowling Green State University. As a Detroit, Michigan native, Victoria’s background includes working as an environmental educator. She’s especially enjoyed teaching Michigan-based ecology and primitive skills courses to summer campers. In the summer of 2021, Victoria had the opportunity to work as an assistant park ranger at Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro, NC. Victoria fell in love with the Carolina Coast while living on Bear Island. She enjoyed driving patrol boats, performing ranger duties and educational programs, and assisting with the kayak trails. In Victoria’s spare time, you can find her birdwatching, pursuing photography, or scuba diving.
Kelly joined the Federation in early 2015. Previously, Kelly served as the communications and technology manager for Kappa Delta Sorority National Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. Her primary responsibilities at the Federation include membership development, engagement and communications. Originally from the coast of Virginia, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine art from the College of William and Mary.
Coastal Resiliency Planner and Manager
Sarah joined the Federation in early 2019. She works on coastal restoration projects such as living shorelines, large-scale marine debris cleanups, conservation monitoring and assists with educational programs in the central region. She holds a Master of Science in biological science from Gacheon University in Seoul, South Korea and a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and ecology from Averett University in Virginia. Sarah‘s background includes shorebird and sea turtle population management, rare, endangered and invasive plant species population management and plant molecular biology.
Georgia joined the Federation in March 2022 as the Southeast Region’s Coastal Specialist. She supports a number of Federation efforts including coastal restoration, advocacy, and outreach through projects making a positive impact on our coastal habitats and surrounding communities. As a Richmond, Virginia native, she worked for several years as an environmental educator, guiding trips for teachers and students on the James River. She was awarded a Master of Science in Coastal and Ocean Policy from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2021 where her research examined the economic feasibility of sustainable aquaculture to support the Blue Economy model. Georgia is passionate about all-things-water, her two hound dogs, and live music!
Grants and Business Operations Director
Rachael joined the Federation in March 2004 as the volunteer coordinator. She holds a Master of Arts in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Gettysburg College. She holds two certificates in federal grant management and currently manages the Federation’s state and federal grant contracts, oversees finance and administrative operations as well as facilities operations for the organization.
Water Quality Program Director
Bree, a Manteo native, joined the Federation staff in 2016 as a Coastal Specialist in the Ocean office. She holds a Master of Science in biological and agricultural engineering and a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and wetland assessment from North Carolina State University. In 2021, Bree successfully attained her Professional Engineer license and now manages the survey, design, and construction oversight of the Federation’s water quality projects, including stormwater retrofits and large-scale wetland restoration. As Water Quality Program Director, Bree oversees the Federation’s mission to improve water quality and reduce flooding from the first stages of planning through implementation.
Lauren joined the Federation in 2021 as a Communications Fellow. She graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Environment, Energy, and Ecology Program in 2021 with a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies, a concentration in Environmental Behavior and Decision Making, and a minor in Environmental Justice. After realizing the importance of public engagement with environmental issues Lauren found a passion for communications leading her to develop skills in web design, photography, videography, and copy writing. When she is not working Lauren is usually reading, drinking coffee, or exploring nature wherever she can.
Finance and HR Director
Brittany, a native of Swansboro, joined the Federation in 2016 as finance manager. She handles the day-to-day business operations for the Federation including donations, receivables, payables, financial reporting, payroll, personnel, and insurance. Brittany holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, as well as a Master of Science degree in accounting. She previously worked as an accountant with Williams Scarborough Smith Gray, LLP in Jacksonville and as an auditor with KPMG, LLP in Raleigh.
Oyster Program Director
Erin coordinates our statewide Oyster Blueprint. The Blueprint is a strategic document the guides oyster restoration and protection measures in North Carolina. Implementing the Blueprint involves working with the three regional offices of the Federation, while partnering with over 30 state and federal agencies, university and NGO partners, industry stakeholders and fishers. The Blueprint focuses on building our state’s oyster resources through water quality protection, building new oyster habitats, growing the shellfish mariculture industry, sustaining wild harvest and engaging the public in the work.
She holds a Master of Science in marine biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Bachelor of Science in marine and freshwater biology from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to her current role with the Federation, Erin served as a coastal scientist for the Wanchese office from 2008- 2022 leading a variety of initiatives to restore wetlands, create oyster sanctuaries and living shorelines and build rain gardens. She also served as the Wanchese office regional manager for a decade from 2012-2022.
Coastal Advocate | Environmental Economist
Alyson joined the Coastal Federation in early 2022 as a Coastal Advocate and Environmental Economist. Her work focuses on the advancement of sustainable policies that support the protection and restoration of our coast. As an economist, her work applies tools from benefit-cost analysis and non-market valuation to quantify restoration objectives and evaluate the benefits of ecosystem services to promote and strengthen responsible coastal management. Alyson holds a Master of Science in Applied and Natural Resource Economics from East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In 2014 she achieved PhD candidacy from ECU, where her research examined the economic implications associated with coastal management decisions in Dare County. Alyson is a proud resident of Hatteras Island, where she has lived since 2017.
Nick joined the Federation in August 2023, as a project manager. He has a bachelor’s degree in Crop and Soil Science with a concentration in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. He will be working on marine debris removal projects, oyster shell recycling efforts, and water quality issues. He is a Carteret County native who enjoys surfing, fishing, and photography.
Coastal Resiliency Planner and Manager
April joined the Federation in 2023 as a Coastal Resiliency Planner and Manager. She works on coastal restoration projects such as living shorelines, large-scale marine debris cleanups, and conservation monitoring in the Central Region. She holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Science from California State University at Fullerton, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In her free time, April enjoys gardening and spending time with her family on the water.
Education & Outreach Director
Before joining the Federation in 2008, Sara worked as a special activities instructor at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, where she fell in love with North Carolina’s estuaries. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology along with a minor in dance from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Sara leads outreach and education programs from the Wanchese office and has organized a network of local environmental educators. She’s a certified Environmental Educator in North Carolina and is a trained Facilitator in multiple workshops within the state program. She is the lead staff for several of the Federation’s marine debris projects, including the Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Program. When she’s not working to protect the coast, Sara stays active in the community teaching dance and physical fitness.
Editor, Coastal Review
Mark Hibbs is the editor of Coastal Review. He manages the day-to-day operations of our award-winning daily online coastal news service, assigns coverage and works with reporters to ensure the publication maintains the highest journalism standards. A native of coastal North Carolina, Mark joined the
Federation June 1, 2015, after more than 20 years with the Carteret County News-Times, where he served as a staff writer and photographer, business editor and assistant to the editor. Mark and the Coastal Review team have earned more than 100 North Carolina Press Association awards for editorial
excellence since 2015, including for public service, breaking news coverage, government reporting, feature and news photography and overall general excellence. Mark has also been recognized with the Media and the Law Award of Excellence sponsored by North Carolina Bar Association for a series of
stories on private property rights versus North Carolina’s coastal regulatory authority. Mark is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Coastal Resiliency Planner and Manager
Margaux Kerr joined the Federation in January 2023 as a Coastal Resiliency Planner and Manager. Her duties focus on coastal resiliency and restoration initiatives being conducted out of the Wanchese Office. She graduated from East Carolina University in 2012 where she received a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning with concentrations in Environmental Sciences and Recreation and Leisure. After graduating, she moved to Wrightsville Beach where she was a volunteer for the Federation. Margaux then accepted a position in the northern Outer Banks and started work in 2015 with Currituck County as a development technician and then in 2016 became a town planner and Coastal Area Management Act local permit officer for Nags Head. She is a Certified Flood Manager and Certified Zoning Official. Margaux’s primary responsibilities include planning and managing projects that protect and restore living shorelines, wetlands, water quality, and reduce flooding. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and surfing.
A native of Wilmington, Sarah first joined the Federation in 2004 as a restoration scientist before relocating to Raleigh to work for the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Sarah re-joined the Federation in 2012 as part of the development team, with responsibilities including grant writing, foundation gifts and fundraising programs including major gifts, honorariums and planned giving. Sarah has bachelor’s degrees from Vanderbilt University in environmental science and psychology and a master’s degree in marine science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
James Lewis is the Technology Director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation. James has been working for the last two decades as an IT consultant for multiple companies spanning several industries including retail, law, manufacturing, and various human services. James serves on the Governor’s Advisory Commission for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. He is a graduate of Carteret Community College and is a Morehead City native that grew up in the marshes between Bell’s and Eastman’s creek on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Amanda is a Carteret County native who returned to the area in 2015 in order to be near the water. Amanda joined the Federation staff in May 2019. As part of the development team she works to further the Federation’s mission through grant writing and donor engagement. Previously, Amanda served as Development Coordinator and Grants Coordinator at Carteret Community College. She holds bachelor’s degrees in political studies and business administration from Meredith College.
Coastal Education Coordinator
Bonnie, once a volunteer for the Federation, joined the staff in 2019 and coordinates the education and outreach programs in the southeast region while managing the region’s volunteers, interns, events, coastal ambassador program, and administrative tasks. Bonnie, originally from Richmond, VA, graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in marine biology. Interning with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an environmental educator, working as the Swamp Boat Captain for Shallotte River Swamp Park providing educational tours on local flora and fauna, and coordinating volunteers for Plastic Ocean Project inspired and influenced her passion for environmental education and outreach.
Karyl Oglesby is the Coastal Federation’s Administrative Office Assistant based at our Headquarters Office. She holds a degree on Business Administration. Karyl is originally from South Carolina but has adopted eastern North Carolina as her home for almost 30 years. She served as a Data Management Specialist for the Federal Government for 28 years. Karyl is proud to call coastal Carolina her home. Karyl spends her time as the owner and operator of her own wedding and event planning service, Sweet Serenity Weddings and Events.
Salt Marsh Campaign Coordinator
Claire joined the Federation in August 2022 as the Salt Marsh Campaign Coordinator. Working in collaboration with experts from a variety of different agencies, Claire is helping to coordinate a salt marsh protection action plan for North Carolina. This plan will be in conjunction with a larger regional effort by the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative to protect salt marsh all along the South Atlantic coast. Claire has a Master of Science degree in Coastal and Ocean Policy from UNC Wilmington, where her research investigated the use of adaptive co-management and stakeholder engagement for more effective conservation of marine resources in marine protected areas. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bucknell University. Before joining the Federation, Claire worked in the laboratory at a drinking and wastewater treatment facility in Colorado. In addition to sampling and performing various analyses, she worked closely with the State to help the lab follow strict regulations and remain within compliance. In her free time, Claire loves watching and playing soccer and anything to do with the water.
Conservation Lands Manager
Mark joined the Federation in October 2014 to manage the North River Wetlands Preserve and prepare the property for future public use. Mark is a native of Atlantic, North Carolina, born and raised around commercial fishing and net making. He is a graduate of Calhoon Engineering School in Maryland with a degree in marine engineering and a U.S. Coast Guard engineering license. Mark sailed in the U.S. Merchant Marine for eight years, and he recently retired after 22 years working as the chief engineer of the Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Cape Hatteras. He also has previous farming and game-land management experience. He is an avid fisherman and hunter and still resides in Atlantic.
Business Engagement Director
Catherine joined the Federation in August 2014. She is a native of Wilmington but has lived the last 28 years in New Bern. Growing up on the coast, Catherine has come to enjoy boating, paddling and fishing. She is pleased to have the opportunity to help preserve the coast. Catherine has spent her career in sales and event planning, traveling the North Carolina coast, getting to know the towns and making contacts in various communities. She is based out of our headquarters in Ocean but will travel the region helping to promote the Federation and increase our visibility through major fundraisers. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Queens College in Charlotte.
Stacia joined the Federation in November 2021 as a Communications Director. She graduated from the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. For the past 7 ½ years Stacia was an Anchor and Reporter for a news station in Colorado and in North Carolina. When she’s not at work you can find Stacia taking advantage of any and all outdoor activities, or enjoying a cup of coffee.
Staff Writer, Coastal Review
Trista Talton joined Coastal Review as staff writer Feb. 1, 2022, but she has covered coastal issues for us since our publication’s inception. She is a native North Carolinian and graduate of Appalachian State University. Her career as a journalist spans more than 20 years, most of which has been reporting on issues in southeastern North Carolina. Her reporting experience includes more than 10 years of covering the military, including an embed with Marines in Kuwait leading up to the start of the war in Iraq in 2003, time in New Orleans with North Carolina National Guardsmen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and offshore patrols of New York and New Jersey aboard a Coast Guard cutter following the Sept. 11 attacks. She lives with her husband and two sons in Jacksonville.
Born in Honolulu Hawaii I moved to Havelock, NC in the 1980s. I grew up enjoying the woods and beaches of eastern NC hunting and fishing.
I worked as a federal contractor with both fixed wing aircraft (AV-8B Harrier) as a technical writer for Cherry Point and tilt rotor aircraft (AH-1W Cobra and UH-1N Huey Helicopters) as a data analyst at Corpus Christi, Texas Naval Base, Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corp Base Futenma, Okinawa helping build and maintain their Integrated Maintenance Concept database. I was a plant manager for 3 yrs for Neetfleet Marine and US Surface Protection onboard Hatteras Yachts. Then I finished off my federal employment in 2021 managing my fathers demolition business onboard Cherry Point Marine Corp Air Station. I came to work for the Federation in mid September, 2022, as the data manager.
I enjoy growing my food gardens and raising chickens on my land. My end goal is to have a farm and become self-sufficient growing and raising my own food, collecting rain water and using solar power to live. I have a beautiful 19 yr old daughter who is and always will be the greatest thing in my life. I usually spend my off time disc golfing, fishing, camping, boating, and spending time with my family.
Government Grant Strategies Director
Christine joined the staff in 2006. She’s responsible for government fundraising and staff and program planning for the Federation’s three offices. She also manages special policy initiatives and programs from the main office and helps plan our communications strategies. She has worked on coastal policy and protection issues at the state, federal and nonprofit level for more than two decades. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in marine policy and coastal management from the University of Delaware. She also likes to spend as much time in, on or under the water as possible.
Living Shoreline Program Director
Originally from Hialeah, Florida, Lexia joined the Federation in April 2007 after living in coastal North Carolina since 2002. Her background is in estuarine water quality and plant ecology and she has conducted over 12 years of research in estuarine environments in Florida, Delaware and North Carolina. Lexia holds a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a specialization in Marine Biology from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Lexia manages coastal restoration projects within the central region of North Carolina and supervises the central regional office.
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Campaign Coordinator
Eliza joined the Federation as the Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Campaign Coordinator in 2022. Her work is focused on advancing SAV and water quality recommendations from the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan. Before joining the Federation, Eliza conducted research on marine microplastics in Florida and parasite expansion in Cape Cod. She holds a Masters of Environmental Management with a concentration in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from Bentley University. In her spare time, you can find Eliza paddling on or swimming in the water.
Coastal Scientist | Marine Debris Program Director
Born in Baltimore, Ted grew up in Eastern Europe while his parents served in American Embassies forthe U.S. State Department. Family in Maryland and summers in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware connected him to the ocean and the bay. Ted came to the Federation in 1997, from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, after managing education programs and watershed planning initiatives for nine years. He has served as the Federation’s education director, Cape Fear Coastkeeper® and now as a coastal scientist. Ted coordinates large scale coastwide marine debris removal efforts, and he designs and implements oyster habitat restoration and living shoreline projects in the southern region. Ted holds a Bachelor of Arts in zoology from Connecticut College, and he is writing his thesis to complete the marine biology graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He, his wife and daughter live in Hampstead, and they enjoy exploring the marshes and islands of Topsail Sound.
Chief Program Director
Ana joined the Federation in 2011. She serves as a critical member of the executive management team. In collaboration with the Executive Director and the team Ana articulates and implements the organization’s strategic vision and leadership. Ana oversees and ensures development and implementation of all organizational programs. She devises new means and strategies to evaluate the programs. She oversees program directors and program staff. Ana has a Master of Business Administration in sustainable business from the University of Maine. She received her undergraduate degree from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. Ana enjoys playing classical guitar, reading and having fun with her two children.
Legislative Lobbyist Liaison, Rob Lammé and Associates
Rob Lammé and Associates has decades of experience developing and executing government strategy for some of the largest companies and most influential policymakers in North Carolina. These services include policy strategy and day-to-day advocacy from seasoned lobbyists with a record of success as well as internal and external communications services for a variety of policymakers, private companies and organizations. Rob served formerly as Communications Director and Budget Director for the N.C. Senate as well as Government Relations Director for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Rob has been a voice for the Federation at the legislature for more than 10 years, and has a life-long love for the coast.
Lewis is a Morehead City native and has taken an active interest in coastal environmental issues since high school. Lewis graduated from N.C. State with degrees in Forestry and Wood Science Technology and has put this knowledge to work as a passionate Coastal Federation volunteer promoting the use of native plants and practices that protect water quality for over four decades. With a professional background in sales, Lewis enjoys engaging individuals and business in the work of the Federation.