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Frank Lopez Leads NC Sea Grant/WRRI Extension

Sea Grant and WRRI extension director Frank Lopez. Photo by Julie Leibach. Click here to download the photo. 



Katie Mosher,, 919-515-9069

Frank Lopez is the new extension director for North Carolina Sea Grant and the state’s Water Resources Research Institute.

“We are thrilled to have Frank in this joint leadership role,” says Susan White, executive director for both programs. “He brings strong experience in management and partner collaborations, as well as a mix of coastal and freshwater expertise.”

Based at NC State University, Lopez manages the programs’ extension and education team members in Raleigh, Wanchese, Morehead City and Wilmington.

Most recently, he had been program administrator of the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve in Ohio. There, Lopez built partnerships and used science and education as tools to support decision-makers dealing with topics such as stormwater management.

“It is extremely exciting to come ‘full circle’ to where my coastal management experience began, working with and for the people of the State of North Carolina,” Lopez notes.

Lopez completed his graduate studies in North Carolina, and it was through Sea Grant here that he applied to be a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Management Fellow.

The national fellowship program assigned him to South Carolina’s coastal management program, where he developed and implemented stormwater best management practices, and worked within the agency’s coastal pollution program.

Lopez has a master’s degree in regional planning, with a focus on coastal management, from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. A Texas native, he also has a bachelor’s in public administration from West Texas A&M, along with an associate’s degree in mass communication from Amarillo College.

Click here to download a photo of Frank Lopez.