Posted on December 13, 2023
After 41 years at the helm, Todd Miller, the visionary founder of the N.C. Coastal Federation (NCCF), announced Tuesday he will step down from his role as executive director effective Feb. 1.
On that date, Dr. Braxton Davis, the current Director of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management since 2011, will assume the position as executive director.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with many of the federation staff over the years, and I’ve been so impressed with their expertise, energy, and commitment,” Davis said in an NCCF news release. “It’s a fantastic organization, and I’m truly excited to join them early next year.”
While Miller relinquishes his executive duties, he will remain an integral part of the Coastal Federation as a senior advisor to the executive director.
Miller, who founded the organization in 1982, expressed his sentiments about the transition, stating, “The time has come for me to pass the helm of this incredible organization to the next generation of leaders who will steer our mission to new horizons in the years ahead.”
Reflecting on the federation’s evolution from a hopeful idea in the early 1980s to a dynamic force for positive change along the North Carolina coast, Miller emphasized the collective efforts of tens of thousands of individuals contributing ideas, time, and resources. Under his leadership, the organization grew from a one-man venture in the back room of his house to three offices covering the entire North Carolina coast with more than 40 staffers. The offices are in Ocean, Manteo and Wrightsville Beach.
Davis, set to lead the federation into a new era, brings a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of coastal management. Miller attested to Davis’s qualifications, stating, “He is exceptionally well-qualified to lead the federation into a new era of innovation and impact,” and praised his extensive experience and unwavering commitment to coastal management at the state and national levels.
The Division of Coastal Management (DCM) works to protect, conserve and manage North Carolina’s coastal resources through an integrated program of planning, permitting, education and research. DCM carries out the state’s Coastal Area Management Act, the Dredge and Fill Law and the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 in the 20 coastal counties, using rules and policies of the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, known as the CRC. The division serves as staff to the state Coastal Resource Commission, which sets policy.
In recommending Davis as his successor to the federation’s board of directors, Miller highlighted Davis’s expertise, energy, dedication and love for the coast, ensuring that the federation’s work remains at the forefront of coastal protection and restoration efforts nationwide.
Miller expressed confidence in the organization’s future successes, acknowledging the solid foundation laid by the board and staff.
As Miller steps into the senior advisor role, he leaves a lasting legacy of successful efforts to protect and enhance the coast, leveraging private donations and countless millions of dollars in state and federal grants on a myriad of projects, ranging from small to gigantic, like the restoration to wetlands of the sprawling North River Farms Down East.