About Us


Our Team

Laura Flynn

Laura Flynn, President

Ms. Flynn is the President of Coastal Resources Group.  Ms. Flynn’s expertise includes 20 years work as a wetland scientist and practitioner specializing in the restoration and conservation of coastal habitats with a primary focus on mangrove and salt marsh ecosystems.  Her past experience working throughout Florida and the Caribbean with Roy R. Lewis III, a veteran international mangrove and seagrass expert, has allowed her to develop an extensive skill set for comprehensive environmental assessments and a science-based approach for restoration planning. Her hands-on approach from initial design through long-term monitoring of projects ensures successful results.  Most recently, her work has focused on mangrove restoration in the Florida Keys, Jamaica, and Antigua/Barbuda to include careful consideration of climate change effects on vulnerable coastal habitats and work with team members to develop these projects with consideration of future challenges.

Ms. Flynn frequently brings awareness to our current environmental issues and new sustainable approaches to restoration and complex environmental problems through public outreach and education with the community. Currently, Ms. Flynn is working with researchers at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and their partners evaluating the degradation, resilience, and associated impacts to ecosystem services following hurricane Hurricane Irma.

Curtis Kruer

Curtis Kruer, Vice President

Mr. Kruer earned his Master of Science degree from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science in 1977 and conducted his thesis research on macroalgae of rocky outcrops 12 miles offshore from Tampa Bay. He began his professional career in the Indian River Lagoon in the mid-1970s and later spent 11 years working for state and federal wetland regulatory agencies in the Keys. 

Restoration and protection of unique wetland and shallow water habitats in South Florida have been a primary focus of Mr. Kruer’s conservation work as an independent contractor since 1988. As manager of the successful Florida Keys Environmental Restoration Trust Fund during the 1990s, he  managed numerous restoration projects throughout the Keys. He led or participated in early projects to map and define wetlands throughout the Keys and nontidal wetlands in the Lower Keys; map prop scars throughout the Keys; map and eradicate invasive exotic vegetation; map mosquito ditches; and construct and monitor bridge rubble and other artificial reefs. Working with the state of Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), he has mapped coral reef ecosystem habitats throughout the Keys, Biscayne National Park, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mr. Kruer has assisted in the preparation of numerous litigation and court cases and provided expert testimony in state and federal courts related to the protection and management of Florida’s coastal wetlands and shallow water habitats. Recently, Mr. Kruer and Coastal Resources Group assisted with seagrass restoration projects in Tampa Bay and assisted Everglades National Park in defining the extent and significance of the boating impact issue in Florida Bay.

Dr. Sarah Mack

CEO of Tierra Resources

Dr. Sarah K. Mack is the President and CEO of Tierra Resources, the Executive Director of Tierra Foundation, and Board Member of Coastal Resources Group.  She is a leader in the movement to monetize wetland carbon offsets and focuses on innovative approaches to address the global challenges of climate mitigation while reducing climate risks to humans, ecosystems, and infrastructure.  Dr. Mack received the American Carbon Registry’s 2013 Innovations Award for her work as the lead author of the methodology, Restoration of Degraded Deltaic Wetlands of the Mississippi Delta.  This was the first certified methodology globally for creating and monetizing carbon offset credits from wetland restoration activities. 

More recently, Dr. Mack was awarded the American Carbon Registry’s 2017 Innovations Award for her development of a carbon protocol to quantify the carbon reductions from restoring wetlands in California.  This methodology led to the development of the first verified wetland restoration carbon offsets in the Unites States. Dr. Mack holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Fort Lewis College, a Master of Science in Public Health focusing on Toxic and Hazardous Waste Management, and a Ph.D. in Global Sustainable Resource Management from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Dr. Mack also is  an ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager.

Dr. Brita Jessen


Dr. Brita Jessen is the first Interdisciplinary Research and Partnerships Lead for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.  Her role is to build relationships and long-term investments across academic, private, government, and local communities, and to ensure that coastal management includes equity and inclusion of local voices. Brita leads programs focused on coastal resilience, management decision support, conservation financing, and co-production of science with local knowledge.  She teaches and mentors graduate students as an adjunct faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University, is an adjunct researcher at the College of Charleston and courtesy faculty at Florida International University. 

While a student at the Graduate School of Oceanography, Brita was a 2008 Coastal Institute IGERT Program fellow and a graduate research fellow with the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Puerto Rico. Prior to joining the Consortium, Brita was the research director for the Rookery Bay NERR in southwest Florida where she oversaw a team of scientists and collaboratively led grant-funded programs in restoration science, fisheries, habitat change, and human-ecological systems.  A native of New England, Brita and her family now call Charleston, S.C. home.