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Mary-Margaret McKinney

Director, Coastal Restoration

Mary-Margaret is a NC Registered Forester and Director of Coastal Restoration for Native Shorelines, Davey’s living shoreline division. She obtained a BS in Botany (94) and a MS in Forestry (96) from NC State University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Integrated Coastal Sciences at East Carolina University. Mary-Margaret has been intricately involved in ecological restoration since the mid-90s and believes successful projects hinge on respecting the needs and perspectives of all involved stakeholders. Her experience in field research, regulatory compliance, project management, and stakeholder involvement has led to her current daily focus: ensuring the resilience of our coast to ever more frequent storms and sea level rise.

As an Environmental Scientist for Landmark Design Group from 1996 to 2001, Mary-Margaret was instrumental in developing the first Memorandum of Understanding for a private mitigation bank in VA and the opening of the first commercial mitigation bank in VA. As President of Carolina Silvics, from 1999 to 2020, Mary-Margaret directed vegetation management of over 275 restoration sites; oversaw SFI BMP compliance for the NC Forestry Association; and collaborated with the NC Coastal Federation to transition oyster shell-bag living shorelines from a research-level idea into a commercially viable option for coastal NC landowners.

As Director of Coastal Restoration for Native Shorelines, Mary-Margaret manages daily operations for the first company in NC started exclusively to design, permit, and install living shorelines and co-invented the patent-pending QuickReef®. Together with non-profit, municipal, academic, and landowner partners, she has managed over 100 successful living shoreline projects. Mary-Margaret lives in Edenton, NC and when not working on our coastlines or her PhD, Mary-Margaret enjoys spending time with her college-aged children and pets, traveling, and reading giant fantasy novels.

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