Prior to his retirement in early 2018, Woodward spent 34 years with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources serving as Chief of Marine Fisheries Management from 2002 to 2008 and director of the Coastal Resources Division from 2009 through 2017. He received a B.S. in Aquatic Biology from Augusta College and a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee. Woodward is currently owner of a fish and wildlife management consulting and communications business and serves as Georgia’s governor’s appointee commissioner to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Woodward has been a professional fisheries biologist for over 40 years specializing in marine fish biology and population dynamics, human dimensions of natural resource management, and conservation policy development and implementation. While employed with Georgia DNR, he served as Georgia’s administrative commissioner to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for sixteen years and agency representative on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council for three years. Woodward maintained state peace officer certification as a deputy conservation ranger for twenty years. During his professional career, he led multiple initiatives to modernize coastal resources management through actions of the Georgia Board of Natural Resources and the Georgia General Assembly. Woodward has been a certified SCUBA diver since 1984, a USCG licensed vessel operator since 1995 and was an industry sponsored saltwater competitive angler from 1988 through 2000 participating in king mackerel tournaments throughout the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys freshwater and saltwater fishing, turkey hunting, wingshooting, diving, and communicating about these pursuits through word and image.
Fisheries Management Philosophy:
It has been gratifying to watch a conservation ethic grow in the community of people who fish in our coastal and ocean waters. Yes, there are still a few who think they don’t affect marine fish populations, but most believe science-based management with reasonable constraints on human activities is necessary. They look to government institutions such as the regional councils to balance the wants and needs of humans with the needs of the fish. As council members, we must constantly strive to earn the trust and confidence of those we serve and to make decisions that maximize fishing opportunities while ensuring we have diverse and healthy marine fish populations.