Matt Rota, Senior Policy Director
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext. 206
Matt is the Senior Policy Director for Gulf Restoration Network. Through his work with GRN, he advocates for healthy waters throughout the Gulf of Mexico region. He also works with Mississippi River Basin organizations to promote policies that will reduce the Dead Zone-causing pollution flowing to the Gulf of Mexico. Matt currently focuses on water pollution issues in Louisiana, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico, working to ensure adequate policies regarding the BP oil drilling disaster, wetlands, water quality, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution are adopted and implemented in order to protect and restore waters of the Gulf of Mexico region. He is co-Chair of the Nutrients Workgroup for the Mississippi River Collaborative and has given numerous presentations on water pollution issues including the Dead Zone, sewage pollution, wetlands, and the BP Oil Drilling Disaster, at professional and technical conferences throughout the country. He earned his B.S. in Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology from Tulane University and his Masters of Earth and Environmental Resources Management from the University of South Carolina.
Raleigh Hoke, Campaign Director
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext. 204
Raleigh works with GRN’s campaign and organizing staff to develop and implement winning advocacy campaigns that address some of the most pressing issues facing the health of the Gulf’s environment and communities. Before becoming Campaign Director, Raleigh worked for 2 years as GRN’s Communications Director and 5 years as Mississippi Organizer. He has also helped run several of GRN’s summer outreach offices. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University.
Andrew Whitehurst, Water Program Director
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext. 205
Andrew works to develop and implement healthy waters campaigns in Mississippi, advancing GRN public policy positions through administrative comment writing, public education, and mobilization. Andrew has a B.A. in English from L.S.U. in 1982; a Master's Degree in Wildlife Ecology from Mississippi State University in 1990; and a J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at L.S.U. in 1997. His experience includes work in coastal fisheries research, law, and conservation outreach.
Scott Eustis, Community Science Director
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext. 212
With an extensive background in wetlands and fisheries research from his Master's from the University of New Orleans, Scott supports GRN's Science and Water Policy team by analyzing wetlands restoration projects, providing scientific arguments in comments against bad developments and wetlands destruction, and by representing GRN in many public forums. Scott has a bachelor's of science in Ecology from UGA's Odum School of Ecology, as well as a degree in English from UGA, and spends a lot of his time flying kites for Public Lab and learning about our natural world with the Louisiana Master Naturalists, GNO.
Dustin Renaud, Communication Director
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext 214
Dustin works with program and development staff to ensure cohesive and impactful messaging across GRN. Dustin grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and earned his B.A. in Communications from the University of Southern Mississippi. He began his career as the Gulf Coast Program Manager for the National Audubon Society in the aftermath of the BP disaster. At Audubon, Dustin developed and managed three major programs: a citizen science program, a beach nesting bird protection program, and an advocacy and outreach campaign. Dustin has experience working at an advertising and PR agency, and he started his own business, Freesource, to provide resources to creative and tech freelancers. As a Mississippi Master Naturalist, Dustin loves to spend his spare time outside boating, biking and learning more about the natural world.
Harry Lowenburg, Campaign Organizer
Phone: 504-525-1528 x 208
Harry works with low lying communities in New Orleans to develop strategies for increasing resilience to localized flooding. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative and advocates for City implementation of the Greater New Orleans Water Plan, a plan focused on incorporating green infrastructure into New Orleans' approach to localized flooding. Harry is also responsible for GRN’s Gulf Fish Forever Campaign outreach, focusing on protecting the Sustainable Fisheries Act. Harry began his career as a community organizer in 1977 working for the Seattle Light Brigade. He subsequently served as a chapter organizer for Oregon Fair Share; Executive Director of the Council Bluffs Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and a founding organizer of a congregation-based organization in Louisiana which later became All Congregations Together.
Naja Battle, Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext. 200
Naja Battle runs GRN's outreach team and can be found in several communities throughout New Orleans building membership and involvement. Naja is a graduate of Xavier University of LA with a B.S in Public Health and has done outreach work and community building through environmental health advocacy, building of green projects, and outreach management. Aside from GRN work, Naja is a Kemetic Yoga professor and founder of Yoga of Kemet promoting a healthy and holistic lifestyle. In her free time she likes to be under a tree or by water enjoying nature .
Christian Wagley, Coastal Organizer, Florida and Alabama
Christian works to protect water quality, create a healthy energy future, and improve coastal resilience in communities along the Florida panhandle and southeast Alabama. His previous work experience includes land use planning, green building, clean energy advocacy, and the connection between community design and water quality.
Natalie Montoya, Wetland Analyst
Phone: 504-525-1528 ext 209
Natalie works to protect wetlands by reviewing and commenting on 404 and CUP permits, conducting GIS analysis, attending hearings and meetings, and contributing to communications. She is a graduate of California Polytechnic University with a Bachelors Degree in Landscape Architecture and minors in Psychology and Spanish. She has a background in organizing around sustainability and justice. In her free time, Natalie enjoys exploring nature and learning about the world through books, podcasts, and documentaries.
Kendall Dix, Fisheries Associate
Kendall works on the Gulf Fish Forever campaign to partner with chefs, restaurants and all interested parties to advocate for science-based fishery management and the protection of critical fish habitat. Kendall has cooked in some of New Orleans' best restaurants and has a B.S. in Journalism and a J.D. from the University of Kansas. He enjoys biking, kayaking, and just generally being outdoors as much as possible.