CRCL Staff


Kimberly Davis Reyher – executive director

Kim has been executive director of CRCL since 2014. Under her leadership, the organization has continued its 35-year tradition of advocacy in support of bold, science-based action to sustain the coast of Louisiana, partnering with a diverse set of interests ranging from business and industry, national nonprofits to community fishing organizations and indigenous tribes. CRCL has convened the Coastal Issues Candidate Forum series to engage political candidates on coastal and water management issues and hosted the biennial State of the Coast conference, an interdisciplinary forum of more than 1,100 thought leaders, scientists, industry representatives and officials and concerned residents focused on the dynamic conditions of Louisiana’s coastal communities, environment and economy. CRCL has also recruited thousands of volunteers to plant hundreds of thousands of trees and marsh grasses and construct 8,000 feet of living shore oyster reefs with community partners, and it has recycled 13 million pounds of oyster shells with New Orleans restaurants. Kim serves on the Executive Committee of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta campaign, as Board chair for Restore America’s Estuaries and as a director of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation. Kim joined CRCL after 13 years with the World Wildlife Fund where, as Fisheries Program director, she advanced sustainable management with the fishing and seafood industry and governments in more than 20 countries. Before joining WWF, she worked with the Ocean Conservancy in Florida and Washington, D.C. Kim is a Gulf Coast native of Tampa, Florida. She received a bachelor’s degree in geography from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in natural resource economics and policy from Duke University. (

Isabella Donnell – operations senior coordinator

Isabella grew up by Mobile Bay, Alabama, and moved to New Orleans to attend college in 2015. Isabella received her master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Tulane University in May 2020. Her studies focused on plant ecology and marsh ecosystems. Through her studies, Isabella became interested in how the health of our coast informs the health of our communities. In her spare time, Isabella likes to read, garden and continue to learn about the natural world around her. (

Advocacy and Outreach

Ethan Melancon – advocacy director

Ethan J. Melancon, MPA, is a native of Thibodaux. He 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, Ethan 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. Prior to working at BRAC, Ethan worked in both public relations and public policy, through roles at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, New Orleans public relations firm the Ehrhardt Group and in the office of U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany. He 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 of public administration at LSU. In his off time, Ethan enjoys exploring the culinary vistas of our state and collecting Louisiana antiques. (

Jordan Phillips – outreach coordinator

Jordan grew up in Baton Rouge and fell in love with coastal Louisiana at an early age on fishing trips with her dad. She moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University and graduated in 2019 with a dual degree in economics and theater. She spends her free time making art, taking aerial hoop classes and getting lost on walks. (

Brett Pickett – outreach coordinator

Brett is a native Louisianian working on the Future Coastal Leaders program. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a M.S. in environmental behavior, education and communication in the spring of 2022. In his free time, Brett enjoys going on hikes, reading about New Orleans history and cooking. (

Morgan Randall – outreach and advocacy Serve Louisiana coordinator

Morgan is a Serve Louisiana member serving CRCL as the advocacy and outreach coordinator. A native of Shreveport, she moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University, where she received a degree in political science. She developed a passion for how communities respond to coastal erosion while working with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and 64 Parishes magazine. When not advocating for coastal restoration and climate adaptation, she enjoys writing fiction, taking long walks around town and nerding out about Louisiana history and culture. (

Will Thinnes – advocacy senior coordinator

Will is originally from Memphis. He received his bachelor’s of science in ecological restoration and environmental policy from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018. Shortly after, Will moved to New Orleans to become an Americorps member at SBP, where he helped lead volunteers in reconstructing homes in the Lower 9th Ward. Most recently, Will worked at Green Light New Orleans, where he managed their rain barrel program — installing rain barrels around the city, engaging with the community and hosting educational workshops about green infrastructure. Will’s passion for ecological restoration and community engagement drove him to CRCL. In his free time, Will enjoys reading by the bayou, chasing sunsets and asking tourists to pronounce Tchoupitoulas. (


James Karst – communications director

James is a former journalist in New Orleans, having worked for many years as an editor at The Times-Picayune. He was on the newspaper’s staff that won two Pulitzer Prizes in 2006. He has also published stories in magazines including 64 Parishes and Preservation in Print. He has been interviewed on the air by NPR’s “Weekend Edition” and on television shows that have aired on the NFL Network, the Travel Channel and National Geographic. A story about his writing was recently published by The New Yorker. He moonlights as a professional competitive eater (formerly the No. 4 oyster eater in the International Federation of Competitive Eating — 15 dozen oysters in 8 minutes) and as an actor, with credits including “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Treme,” and “America’s Most Wanted.” He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. (

Jana King – Serve Louisiana social media and content strategist

Jana is a native of Ponchatoula and an alumnus of LSU. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in marketing and communications at Loyola. She has experience in marketing projects including print publications, digital marketing and design, in-person and virtual event planning, and more. Jana’s passion for marketing centers around social media and content creation, which she’s worked in multiple industries over the past decade to help small businesses and organizations tell their stories online. In her spare time, she is a candlemaker — creating products and selling them online, in local stores and at art markets across New Orleans.  (


Donna Betzer – development director

Donna Betzer is a development and marketing professional with over 30 years of experience. Most recently she served as Kingsley House chief development officer as well as the director of strategic giving for the Kingsley Foundation. She directed development and communications efforts, including the execution of fundraising strategies for individual donors, corporate and foundation supporters, and special events. Prior to this role she served as director of development of the American Diabetes Association Gulf Coast office and director of marketing for Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola University in communications and psychology. Donna, a member of Women United and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, lives in Metairie with her husband, David, and enjoys gardening, reading and traveling. (

Maya Klapper – development coordinator

Maya grew up in Los Angeles and moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University in 2016. She graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater and environmental studies in 2020. As an undergraduate at Tulane, Maya led several fundraising efforts for local musical productions and volunteered and interned at Green Light New Orleans, solidifying her interest in serving the local community. Following graduation, she served as program manager at Sages & Seekers, an intergenerational program designed to develop empathy and diminish social isolation and ageism, and shift lead at Flour Moon Bagels; you may recognize her as their former unofficial bagel hand model. In her free time, Maya enjoys baking, belting showtunes and meandering around New Orleans. (

Kelly Messer – special events director & development manager

Kelly develops and executes our public and private events. She joined the CRCL team in 2007. CRCL has long been known for its well-planned and orchestrated events because of Kelly’s artistic eye and attention to detail. As CRCL’s graphic designer, she is responsible for developing critical informational pieces for both internal and external distribution. Kelly’s expertise in IT has allowed CRCL to incorporate the latest technology into its web design and computer networks. She also develops and maintains CRCL’s extensive database system. (

Restoration Programs

Darrah Bach – Oyster Shell Recycling Program manager

Darrah served as CRCL’s monitoring and remote sensing technician through Serve Louisiana until joining the staff as the OSRP coordinator. Originally from San Francisco, California, Darrah moved to New Orleans to pursue a degree in environmental studies and sociology from Tulane University. In her free time, Darrah enjoys drawing and collage making.  (

Michael Biros – restoration programs director

Michael Biros is a landscape architect who has over 10 years of experience working across coastal Louisiana on projects including adaptation planning, stormwater management and natural resource damage assessments. He holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Dickinson College. (

Ashe Burke – Coastal Adventures Program Serve Louisiana coordinator

Since 2019, Ashe has studied at Nunez Community College and the University of New Orleans in coastal environmental sciences part-time while working in environmental activism to support their young daughter. They are from Reggio, Louisiana, and have a lifelong history with hurricanes, floods and other issues that coastal communities face. They have a strong passion for wetlands and wildlife of southeast Louisiana and spends their free time researching, fishing and reading Tolkien lore. After serving with AmeriCorps, Ashe will return to UNO to finish their degree and pursue their dream of being part of a swamp conservancy in the Breton Sound Basin. (

Andrew Ferris – Native Plants Program coordinator

Andrew works with the Native Plant Program. He graduated in 2019 from Lewis & Clark College, where he studied mathematics, and relocated to Louisiana in 2021. Andrew grew up in Maine, where he got to spend lots of time in a wide array of coastal and wetland environments. He’s excited to be learning about coastal Louisiana wetlands and the communities who rely on them through his work with CRCL. (

Sofia Giordano – Coastal Adventures Program senior coordinator

Sofia is a New Orleans native who completed two AmeriCorps service terms through ServeLA with CRCL as the OSRP Technician before joining the staff as the Coastal Adventures Coordinator. She holds a passion for getting more individuals out in the field to learn about the coastal land loss crisis and coordinates individual and group volunteer recruitment, supports volunteer events on-site, and explores new coastal adventure opportunities that support CRCL’s mission. Sofia received her Bachelor of Science from Loyola University in Environmental Science with a concentration in Biology, where she completed an undergrad thesis on the plastic pollution crisis. Sofia is also an avid sailor and amateur potter. (

Gardner Goodall – Native Plants Program manager

Gardner is an ecologist, urban enthusiast and avid bicyclist hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. As suggested by his name, he enjoys working with plants, and he is excited to be leading volunteers to support coastal restoration through native plantings. Gardner holds a degree in environmental studies from UNC-Asheville, and he has years of experience in volunteer management and land stewardship. In his free time he likes to garden, play disc golf and cook with friends. (

Fiona Lightbody – Oyster Shell Recycling Program coordinator

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Fiona came down to New Orleans to study environmental biology and international development at Tulane University. In 2021, she graduated with a master’s degree from Tulane in ecology and evolutionary biology. In her free time, you can find her walking her dog or catching up on new TV shows, and she is looking forward to getting hands-on conservation experience with CRCL! (

Rowan Lambert — Native Plants Program Serve Louisiana coordinator

Rowan Lambert is a military brat who grew up overseas in Okinawa, Japan, for 14 years. She moved to Texas in 2015 to start high school; during the pandemic she moved to New Orleans to complete a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of New Orleans. As an undergraduate, Rowan worked for the Office of Research as the sustainability intern, beautifying campus with native plant gardens, reinstating recycling and fulfilling other sustainable initiatives. Rowan enjoys painting, doing pottery with her coworkers and gardening. (

Grace Nolan – Oyster Shell Recycling Program Serve Louisiana coordinator

Grace works with the Oyster Shell Recycling Program as a Serve Louisiana member. She holds a master’s degree in physical geography and a bachelor’s degree in environmental geoscience from West Virginia University. Grace’s passion for environmental restoration work grew while working at the Friends of Deckers Creek remediating acid mine drainage in her home state of West Virginia. She is excited to get acquainted with Louisiana wetlands along with participating in coastal restoration efforts. In her free time, she likes to rock climb, walk/hike, play the French horn, read and play video games. (