Sound Rivers Staff

Clay Barber

Program Director

Clay joined the Sound Rivers team in August 2019 as our environmental projects coordinator and now serves as Sound Rivers’ program director. Having spent most of his life along the rivers and coasts of eastern North Carolina, like much of his family, he developed great respect for the precious wetlands, waterways and estuaries that are the lifeblood of this state. Clay oversees Sound Rivers’ restoration and stormwater programs, our Swim Guide program and the Tar-Pamlico Water Trail.

Clay has earned two degrees from East Carolina University: a B.S. in Recreation and Park Management and a M.S. in Sustainable Tourism, and holds a certificate in stormwater management from N.C. State University. During his college years, he helped launch a nonprofit eco-tourism center on the southern end of the Outer Banks called the Hatteras Island Ocean Center. He formed an internship program where students create recreational and educational programs that teach visitors about the natural environments, culture and history of the Outer Banks. During graduate school, he assisted multiple departments with research projects ranging from reports on the importance of public recreation to sustainability, to an economic-impact study of boaters using the North Carolina section of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) for transportation and leisure.

After college, he pursued his passion for outdoor recreation and tourism as a River Guide and Assistant Manager for Knee Deep Adventures, a mobile paddle-sport rental company in Greenville, North Carolina, that specializes in providing safe, memorable paddle experiences to people of all skill levels. He is also a BSA Eagle Scout and credits his love for the outdoors to being engaged with nature and adventure at a young age.

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