BRUNSWICK — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the appointment of A.G. Spud Woodward as director of the DNR Coastal Resources Division (CRD) effective Dec. 1. Woodward was recommended by Commissioner Chris Clark and approved by the Board of Natural Resources at their monthly board meeting in Atlanta. Woodward succeeds Susan Shipman, who served as CRD Director for seven years and who will retire on Nov. 30 after 31 years of service to DNR.
Woodward is a 25-year veteran of the Department, having served as CRD assistant director for Marine Fisheries since 2002. In his current position, he supervises the daily operations of a 35-person workforce and administers an annual $3 million budget.
He also serves as Georgia’s Administrative Commissioner on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, chairs the Coordinating Council of the Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistics Program, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership.
Woodward received a B.S. in aquatic biology from Augusta College and an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee. He is a USCG-licensed vessel captain, a POST-certified peace officer, and a Certified Fisheries Professional. He graduated with the 2004 class of Leadership Glynn and Class V of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.
Clark praised the progress of the division under Shipman and recommended Woodward to the Board of Natural Resources.
“Susan has established a lasting conservation legacy in the many diverse areas of her career, including marine fisheries management and coastal management,” Clark said. “Spud has the scientific expertise, institutional knowledge, and management skills to lead the Coastal Resources Division as they continue to manage the challenges and opportunities associated with coastal Georgia’s growth.”
During the early years of his career with CRD, Woodward conducted groundbreaking research on red drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead and other finfish species popular with recreational anglers. As assistant director for Marine Fisheries, he spearheaded legislative initiatives to reform shrimp fishing regulations and to create mandatory licensing of saltwater fishing guides. Woodward also established a formal aquatic education program targeted at middle school students.
“I am humbled and honored to be appointed as Coastal Resources Division director, and I look forward to being part of Commissioner Clark’s executive team.” Woodward said. “ We have a staff that is passionate about the coast — its people, its history and culture, and its wildlife. It will be a privilege to lead them as we help Georgia’s citizens and visitors be good stewards of this magical place between the sea and the land.”
Woodward lives in Brunswick with his wife, Chris, who is editor of Sport Fishing magazine. His daughter, Sally, is a freshman at Georgia Southern University. Woodward serves on the Board of Directors of the Golden Isles Kingfish Classic and coordinates the annual Golden Isles Family Fishing Festival. He is an avid outdoorsman, traveler and writer. He has contributed over 200 articles to both professional and popular publications.
The Coastal Resources Division of Georgia DNR is the state agency entrusted to manage Georgia’s coastal marshes, beaches, waters and fisheries for the benefit of present and future generations. The mission of the Department of Natural Resources is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices.