Coastwalk Staff

Caroline “Cea” Higgins

Executive Director

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Cea joined Coastwalk California as Executive Director in August of 2017. Born in Silverspring, Maryland and educated in the US, Europe, and Asia, Cea has always been devoted to helping the underserved and underrepresented. That devotion inspired her to pursue a career in special education and spend her time volunteering for organizations that worked for environmental protection & social justice. To that end, she earned a BS in Education from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Science in Curriculum Design & Atypical Learning from the University of Wisconsin. To improve her ability to advocate for coastal  preservation, she earned a Juris Doctorate with honors from Concord Law School. Throughout her career in education, Cea also focused on environmental advocacy through her decades-long involvement with the Sonoma Coast Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, a grassroots non-profit organization that focuses on coastal preservation and protection.

As Policy Coordinator for the chapter, she monitors proposed coastal development projects, reviews drafts of proposed legislation, coordinates local outreach to inform the public on critical coastal issues through social media or public comment, and fosters relationships with affected communities, NGOs, and governmental agencies at the local, state and national levels in order to influence policy change to benefit the coast.  In these roles, she consistently demonstrates the ability to persuade divergent parties and stakeholders to reach consensus for the common good of protecting the ocean, public access, and the California coastline. An avid surfer, hiker, and trained in marine mammal and sea bird rescue, Cea believes in giving back to the ocean that she cherishes and attributes her success in advocacy to her skills in diplomacy and willingness to actively listen to the concerns of all involved parties.


Connie White

Program Director

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With more than 25 years of varied administrative experience in “Creating Order Out of Chaos” Connie has found her niche in helping small organizations succeed. She is a long-time environmental advocate and is passionate about coastal access, clean water and youth engagement. Connie is really excited to begin a new chapter in her life at Coastwalk.


Nancy Morgan


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Linda Hanes

Office Support

Linda Hanes has been a Coastwalk volunteer since, 1993, in office and on summer Coastwalk trips. She has been a Walk Coordinator, Onsite Coordinator, cook and chuckwagon wrangler for some 30 Coastwalk trips during that time, and has led several day hikes. She has been a member of the Coastwalk board since 1995, and has been President, Vice President and currently Secretary of the Board. Linda was a member of the team that walked the entire California coast, along the California Coastal Trail, in 2003.

She retired in 1999 from 20 years as a Children’s Reference Librarian within the Sonoma County Library system.

Linda has lived in the Santa Rosa/Sebastopol area since 1969, but was born and raised in Michigan.