Resilient Coasts Program Director
Kelly Leo Resilient Coasts Program Director © TNC

Our People

Kelly Leo

Resilient Coasts Program Director, Maryland/DC

Easton, MD

  • Areas of Expertise

    coastal and marine conservation, coastal risk and resilience, natural climate solutions


Kelly leads the Maryland/DC chapter's efforts to protect Maryland’s shorelines now and into the future, by ensuring that coastal habitats and communities are resilient in the face of a changing climate.

As sea levels rise—and if conditions allow—coastal habitats will respond accordingly by migrating landward. Kelly is working to protect these migratory pathways for coastal habitats to preserve and protect Maryland's historic and strategic investments in the state's coastlines. Ensuring that coastal habitats are healthy enough to face these, and other challenges, will allow TNC's conservation legacy to persist into the future.  

Kelly joined the chapter in 2018, but has worked with TNC for over 10 years, first in New York and then in California. As the Marine and Coastal Programs Coordinator for the Long Island Chapter she was part of TNC’s first coastal resilience project on Long Island in 2006.

She holds a Master of Integrated Water Management degree from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia via the International Water Centre and a Bachlor of Arts degree in Human Ecology (Environmental Studies and Anthropology/Sociology) from Middlebury College.

+ more - less

Related Articles

  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge contains one-third of Maryland's tidal wetlands, which provide storm protection to lower Dorchester County.

    Coastal Habitat Squeeze

    A review of adaptation solutions for saltmarsh, mangrove and beach habitats in Australia and the United States. Read more