March 19, 2007
Contact: Michele Walker, 919-733-2293, ext. 229
NORTH CAROLINA COASTAL MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR TO RETIRE
MOREHEAD CITY – N.C. Division of Coastal Management Director Charles S. Jones has announced plans to retire effective June 1, 2007.
Jones, 53, has served at the helm of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management since March 2004. Coastal Management regulates development in 20 coastal counties, helps local governments establish accessways for the public to reach coastal waters and administers the Coastal Reserve Program, which sets aside coastal lands for research and education.
“Charles’ dedication to protecting our coastal resources and his leadership of the Division of Coastal Management have been invaluable,” said Secretary Bill Ross of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “Charles’ 29-year career with the division has been marked by his love for the North Carolina coast; his expertise in planning, regulatory and resource management matters; his superb people skills; and his rock-solid commitment to the mission of the division and the department. We will miss him greatly.”
Jones joined the division in 1978 as a field consultant, and was promoted to chief of the DCM Field Services Section in 1984. In 1986, Jones became the district manager for the division’s Morehead City office, where he served until 1997 when he was promoted to assistant director for permitting and enforcement.
In March 2004, Jones was appointed division director, giving him responsibility for the entire North Carolina coastal management program.
During his 29-year career, North Carolina’s coastal population has increased tremendously, resulting in additional pressures on coastal development, beach and estuarine access, and other coastal management issues. Since 1978, more than 42,000 CAMA permits have been issued in the 20 coastal counties for development, including piers, houses and even large subdivisions. Balancing economic development and environmental protection is at the heart of the state’s Coastal Area Management Act.
Since the very early days of CAMA, Jones has been instrumental in developing and enforcing the rules that govern coastal development in North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties. During his tenure, he has been part of many significant advances in coastal development, including a state law banning hardened structures on the oceanfront; urban waterfront rules; limits on development in dynamic inlet areas, which have reduced the risks of frequent property damage; and buffer requirements for coastal waterfront property. He currently serves on the N.C. General Assembly’s Waterfront Access Study Committee, which is charged with studying the loss of traditional uses and waterfront access in coastal North Carolina.
A native of Beaufort and lifelong coastal North Carolina resident, Jones is a graduate of East Carolina University, with a bachelor’s degree in geography/planning. He and his wife, Janie, the director of the Crystal Coast Civic Center, live near Smyrna in Carteret County.
DENR leadership has begun a comprehensive search for Jones’ replacement.