New Beginnings, A Letter from the Director

By Harrison Marks, Executive Director

Four years ago I was pleased to join Sound Rivers’ predecessor organization, the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, following a long career in banking. My undergraduate focus was  a  cobbled  together  program  resembling  today’s environmental  science  programs, and  finding an opportunity to contribute business skills to protecting our natural resources was a real joy. It was a great example of finding a new beginning marked by joy and adventure.

A little over two years ago, the Neuse River and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundations created a new beginning by joining together to better address the challenges facing our rivers and the Pamlico Sound. Combining the two organizations into Sound Rivers has enabled us to respond as a team to cover acute, catastrophic issues like pollution caused from Hurricane Matthew flooding and to continue our pressure on concentrated animal feeding operations throughout the region. We share the expertise of individual Riverkeepers and other staff throughout the region.

Now we mark two new beginnings. Katy Langley will be joining Sound Rivers as the new Lower Neuse RIVERKEEPER®. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Katy’s passion for the environment and solid training join the organization in this critical role. Elsewhere in this issue of Currents you will find a short biographical sketch of her credentials as well as a wonderful farewell from Travis Graves, the former Lower Neuse Riverkeeper.

The other new beginning is marked by my impending retirement later this year. My wife, Suzie, and I are looking forward to a new adventure that will begin with a year on our boat, a lifelong dream of ours. The search for my replacement is well underway and I have no doubt the Sound Rivers’ Board will select a new Executive Director who will take the organization to new heights and new beginnings.

My brief time at Sound Rivers has been richly rewarding because of you, the members, volunteers and donors who are committed to clean water and healthy ecosystems throughout the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico region. Thank you for the privilege of being here!