environmental department Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart today named
Braxton Davis, director of the state Division of Coastal Management, to
lead the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries effective immediately.
the immediate future, the divisions will remain separate entities
housed under the state’s environmental agency, and Davis will lead both
divisions as director. The department intends to examine ways in which
the two divisions can achieve efficiencies in operations.
knowledge of state and national coastal issues, and his experience as
director of our coastal management division, made him the perfect
choice to lead both groups,” said Secretary van der Vaart. “His
extensive background in coastal science and management will allow him
to bring these two groups together in an effective and exciting way,
and enhance protection of our state’s coastal and marine resources.”
began his tenure as director of the state’s coastal agency in September
2011, after serving as policy director for the South Carolina coastal
program. He holds a doctorate in marine affairs from the University of
Rhode Island, a master’s degree in biological sciences from Florida
International University, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental
sciences from the University of Virginia.
am honored by the trust placed in me to lead these two very important
coastal divisions,” Davis said. “Both divisions have a long history of
working collaboratively in many areas, including regulatory, research,
planning, conservation, and outreach activities, and I believe this
move will only strengthen the partnerships we’ve developed over the
years. I look forward to continuing our collaboration, and bringing
both teams together to find more ways that we can improve our work and
plan to listen to, and work closely with staff, commission members, and
other interested groups – both internal and external – to identify
opportunities for efficiencies and improvements,” Davis continued. “I
hope to develop draft recommendations for the future of both agencies
later this year.”
named Mike Lopazanski, chief of the coastal division’s policy and
planning section, as acting assistant director of the Division of
Coastal Management. Col. Jim Kelley will continue to serve as acting
assistant director of Marine Fisheries, a role he has held since
February. Lopazanski has worked for the coastal management division for
25 years, and has been head of its policy section since 2012. Kelley
has been with the N.C. Marine Patrol for nearly 27 years and has
served as its leader since February 2014.
state’s coastal agency regulates development in the 20 coastal
counties, balancing coastal development needs with the protection of
North Carolina’s coastal and marine resources, navigation, recreation
and property rights. The agency also helps local governments establish
accessways for the public to reach coastal waters, assists with local
land use planning, and administers the Coastal Reserve and National
Estuarine Research Reserve Program, which sets aside coastal lands for
research, education and stewardship.
state’s marine fisheries division is responsible for the stewardship of
the state's marine and estuarine resources, and is dedicated to
ensuring sustainable marine and estuarine fisheries and habitats for
the benefit and health of the people of North Carolina.
Daniel, who had led the Division of Marine Fisheries since 2007,
abruptly stepped down on Feb. 29. His departure was announced in
an email to employees but not in a news release.