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Georgia Conservancy names coastal director

ATLANTA — The Georgia Conservancy announced Charles McMillan as its new coastal director.

McMillan had previously served on the Conservancy’s Board of Trustees and for a number of years chaired the Blueprints Partners, an advisory group to the Conservancy’s Blueprints for Successful Communities program.

McMillan is the founder and former president of AEC Inc., a Roswell-based civil and environmental engineering firm that specializes in land planning, landscape architecture and environmental restoration and mitigation across Georgia. Since leaving this role in early 2015, he has provided his expertise to the Longleaf Alliance and the Nature Conservancy in their ecological inventory of the longleaf pine ecosystem between Fort Stewart and the Altamaha River.

A native of Brunswick, McMillan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University and recently completed a graduate certificate in ecological restoration at the University of Florida.

“I am very pleased and excited to join the Georgia Conservancy in this new role,” McMillan said. “The conservancy has a long history on our coast from protecting Cumberland Island National Seashore to its recent work to help establish an enforceable marsh buffer. The new five-year strategic plan will advance and prioritize our land conservation and sustainable growth initiatives along our 100-mile coast — a region that has wholly unique needs in those areas.”

As coastal director, McMillan will lead the coastal work of the Conservancy from its office in Savannah. With an increasing look at land conservation and sustainable growth through the lens of sea-level rise, the coastal office is working with landowners, planning commissions, municipalities and statewide government officials to find ways to tackle this issue through mitigation planning, ecological restoration and forward-thinking policy.

“Charles knows fully well — as a Brunswick native, Blueprints partner and as a professional civil engineer — the challenges that coastal Georgia faces in a rapidly approaching future,” Georgia Conservancy President Robert Ramsay said. “We look forward to the opportunity to make a real difference in the culture of conservation along our coast, and we are excited that Charles will help to lead us there.”

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