Georgia Sea Grant
The Georgia Sea Grant Advisory Board provides a critical link to coastal stakeholders and emerging issues.

Advisory Board

The Georgia Sea Grant Advisory Board plays a critical role in collecting stakeholder, contributing to the strategic planning process and establishing connections with stakeholders who need Sea Grant or UGA Marine Extension Service’s (MAREX) expertise. It provides advice on the research proposal funding process and information on the latest trends and needs in the coastal zone. The board also plays a critical role in helping to advocate for our program and in forming partnerships with other organizations in coastal Georgia. 

Advisory Board Membership

The Georgia Sea Grant Advisory Board has fifteen members drawn from marine business, local government, schools and other educational facilities, NGOs, the planning and development community, and state management agencies. The board has two regularly scheduled feedback sessions per year. Input from these sessions guides outreach and communications activities, the use of program development funds and the scope of funded research proposals. The board is convened as needed for other emerging issues. Individual members or smaller groups of members are often consulted to give advice in their area of expertise.

Advisory Board members are divided into two categories—representative and institutional. Representative members come from specific stakeholder groups such as planners and elected officials from city/county governments, commercial fishing interests, development, tourism, NGOs and NOAA. These members serve five-year terms and are replaced by individuals who continue to represent those constituencies. Institutional members represent institutions important to the function of Georgia Sea Grant.  Membership in this case is incumbent on the office, and the members remain on the board as long as they hold that office.

Institutional Members

  • Mike Clutter – Dean of the Warnell School of Forestry at UGA.  The Warnell School offers Georgia Sea Grant access to knowledge of the activities of timber companies, which own large tracts of land in sensitive coastal environments.
  • Brad Gane – Assistant Director for Ecological Services, Coastal Resources Division, GA DNR.  Gane oversees the state Coastal Zone Management program, which involves permitting as well as funding research and monitoring work in the coastal zone. As such there is a strong need to integrate with SG activities.
  • Mel Garber – Director of the Archway Program at UGA. Archway directs UGA expertise to solving social and economic problems in the coastal zone. As Georgia Sea Grant has moved into the arena of economic development and land use change, Archway has become an increasingly important partner.
  • Spud Woodward – Director of Coastal Resources Division, GA DNR. The CRD is the primary state agency entrusted to manage Georgia’s coastal marshes, beaches, waters and fisheries for the benefit of present and future generations.
  • Steve Wrigley – Executive Vice Chancellor of the University System of Georgia

Representative Members

  • Gregg Bayard – Development: Developer – Owner, Salt Creek, LLC
  • Al Burns – Regional Planner: Director, Coastal Regional Center
  • Billy Edwards – Municipal Infrastructure Manager: City Manager – City of Hinesville
  • Dorset Hurley – NOAA: Research Coordinator - Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Patty McIntosh – Environmental Consultant: Development Consultant and Partner at Melaver McIntosh
  • Charlie Phillips – Commercial Fishing: Seafood Processor and Commercial Fisherman – Owner, CP Seafood
  • Susan Shipman – Citizen-at-Large: former Director of Coastal Resources Division, GA DNR
  • Kelly Spratt – County Elected Official: Chair of the McIntosh County Commission
  • Tom Thompson – City Planner:  Executive Director, Chatham County/Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission
  • Charlie Waller – Tourism: Marina Owner – Isle of Hope Marina
  • Paul Wolff – Small City Elected Official: City Councilman – Tybee Island