CRCL Press releases

Ethan Melancon named advocacy director at Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Thibodaux native is former executive director of governmental affairs at Department of Education        

March 2024


The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has named Ethan Melancon to be its advocacy director, a leadership role through which he will work with local, state and federal government to advance CRCL’s mission to unite people in action to achieve a thriving, sustainable Louisiana coast for all. Melancon, a Thibodaux native who lives in Baton Rouge, began in the role this month. He joins a team of more than 20 at CRCL and will also work closely with Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a group of organizations advocating for coastal restoration and protection.  

Melancon is the former executive director of governmental affairs for the Louisiana Department of Education. In that role, he served as the staff lead for all legislative and policy strategy for the department and was the representative for the department and the board of Elementary and Secondary Education at the Legislature. Prior to that, Melancon served as the policy and research project manager at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, where he worked on education and workforce development policies and initiatives. Before that, he worked in both public relations and public policy at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, the New Orleans public relations firm the Ehrhardt Group and in the office of U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany.  


Melancon is a proud graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he double majored in public relations and political science. He recently received his master’s degree in public administration from LSU.   

“CRCL has been a leader in advocating for Louisiana’s coast for a long time, and as a native of coastal Louisiana I’m thrilled to be part of the team,” Melancon said. “Our issues may seem daunting, but there are science-based plans in place to address them, and I’m looking forward to working with lawmakers to bring them to fruition.”   

“Ethan brings deep connections in Baton Rouge and Washington and plenty of policy experience,” said Kim Reyher, CRCL’s executive director. “We believe he’ll build on our past success, and he’s already hit the ground running.”   

CRCL formed in 1988 as the first statewide nonprofit in Louisiana dedicated to restoring and protecting our coast, which has seen more than 2,000 square miles of wetlands vanish since the 1930s. Among the organization’s early achievements was a policy paper, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” that advocated for science-based action and called for “the establishment of a new state office with clear public accountability, a comprehensive state legislative mandate, strong support from the governor’s office and adequate funding for coastal restoration.”  

CRCL now operates an Oyster Shell Recycling Program that has returned nearly 14 million pounds of shell to the waters of south Louisiana, creating reefs that slow the rate of erosion and create habitat for new oysters. Its Native Plants Program has planted more than a million plants and trees across the state’s coast. Through the Future Coastal Leaders program, high school and college students learn about coastal issues and careers in the coastal sector. CRCL also hosts the biennial State of the Coast conference.  

To learn more about the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, visit the organization’s website.  


The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to unite people in action to achieve a thriving, sustainable Louisiana coast for all. Incorporated in 1988, CRCL represents a unique mix of businesses, local governments, industries, scientific communities, national and local conservation groups, hunters, anglers and a broad spectrum of concerned citizens who all share a common vision and commitment to the sustainability of coastal Louisiana.