Alum Todd Miller wins National Wetlands Award

Todd Miller (BA urban studies’78, MA city and regional planning ’80), executive director and founder of the N.C. Coastal Federation (NCCF), has won a National Wetlands Award in the Wetland Community Leader category from the Environmental Law Institute.

The National Wetlands Awards are presented annually to individuals who have excelled in wetlands protection, restoration and education.

The program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration and NOAA Fisheries.

Miller has protected the state’s valuable coastal wetlands for three decades. Started in 1982 with the successful mobilization of fishermen and farmers that defeated a proposal to strip-mine 120,000 acres of peat bogs, the NCCF now includes 20 staff members that undertake many wetland conservation efforts, ranging from small plots that involve a handful of students or volunteers to large tracts requiring millions of dollars and complex partnerships. The organization has been involved in every major coastal policy issue in the last 28 years, helped educate thousands of children and adults, restored more than 40,000 acres of estuaries and purchased almost 10,000 acres of land.

Miller’s advocacy has helped develop and implement numerous laws and policies, including the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. In 2008, Miller’s leadership provided wetlands restoration and prevented river contamination from agricultural pollutants at the North River Farm project — one of the largest restoration project of its kind in the nation and a template for private-public partnerships and science-based ecosystem restoration. A founding member of Restore America’s Estuaries, Miller helps diverse stakeholders find common ground and is recognized for his skill in motivating citizens to be coastal stewards.