Sound Rivers Annual Meeting Recognizes Dedicated Volunteers

Sound Rivers held our 2019 Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 27, at Uptown Brewing Company in Greenville NC. The meeting was free and open to Sound Rivers members’ as well as the public. Sound Rivers’ Executive Director and three Riverkeepers gave reports on the organization and the State of the Rivers, and an awards presentation included recognition of area residents and businesses. A sustainably-raised pork BBQ fundraiser during the event also raised over $1200 for Sound Rivers’ work to preserve and protect the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River Basins.

Steve Camp accepts award on behalf of Grady-White Boats

Steve Camp, accepting the River Friendly Business Award on behalf of Grady-White Boats, said, “I had the privilege of receiving an award for Grady-White Boats this afternoon. Sound Rivers presented Grady-White with the River Friendly Business Award. It’s great when you work for a company that is a great corporate citizen.”

A full list of awardees and their service is below.

Volunteers of the Year

This award, selected and presented by our staff, goes to the outstanding volunteer within each of the three Riverkeeper areas for the past year.

Upper Neuse – Graham Jackson (Orvis), Raleigh – Presented by Matthew Starr

Graham has been instrumental in growing the Loose on the Neuse River cleanup held in Raleigh on the Neuse River each summer. This is our largest volunteer event in Raleigh and is also an important fundraiser. Graham is the new manager of Orvis store in Raleigh.

Lower Neuse –  Mike Sagaser, New Bern – Presented by Katy Hunt

Mike has been an active volunteer with Sound Rivers for years. He participated in the inaugural Swim Guide program, sampling water quality weekly at Lawson Creek Park on the Trent River. He also participates in every cleanup held in New Bern.

Tar-Pamlico – Lib Haubenreiser, Washington – Presented by Forrest English/Heather Deck

Lib has been an active volunteer for SRI for many years. She has participated in most of our annual river cleanups, volunteers annually for our Kids River Fest event in Greenville and for our annual Oyster Roast. You will regularly see her at the local Estuarium, where she routinely supports visits by area schools. She is a wonderful ambassador for Sound Rivers.


River Friendly Businesses

Awarded to community businesses to recognize their active support for Sound Rivers mission of protecting the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico waterways.

Edward Jones Investments, Rod Cantrell – Washington

Edward Jones branch operated by Rod Cantrell has been managing SRI investments for nearly a decade. In addition, Edward Jones is an annual major sponsor of our Pamlico-Tar Oyster Roast and Rod is a member of the organization. Their staff are great to work with and have been supportive of SRI’s mission.

Croakertown Coffee – Oriental

Owner Sally Pichette has been wonderful supporters of SRI’s clean water mission. Through fundraisers and outreach, she have been spreading the word and supporting the mission. A portion of the proceeds are donated to Sound Rivers from her Riverkeeper blend coffee.

Frog Hollow Outdoors – Raleigh

Frog Hollow is an outfitter located in Raleigh / Durham owned by Banks Dixon. They have a long history of supporting our Upper Neuse Riverkeeper’s cleanup and fundraising events. Whenever we have a need for an outfitter, Frog Hollow is always there.

Grady-White Boats – Greenville

Grady-White Boats has been a sponsor of many Sound Rivers (and predecessor Pamlico-Tar River Foundation) events for many years. The company’s commitment to protection of the Tar-Pamlico River cannot be overstated. Many of their employees are also dedicated Sound Rivers members.

Public Officials

Awarded to public officials or representatives within Neuse or Tar-Pamlico watershed for actions taken to protect and support our rivers and natural resources.

Raleigh Mayor, Nancy McFarlane

Mayor McFarlane became Raleigh’s 35th mayor in 2011 and has been instrumental in garnering support of common sense and forward thinking policies that protect the region’s water and environment. She oversaw the implementation of Low Impact Development policies and has been a strong advocate for the protection of Falls Lake and the reduction of pollution from stormwater runoff. In 2017, Mayor McFarlane endorsed the Sierra Club campaign to switch Raleigh’s energy source to 100% renewable.

Rep. Grier Martin (Wake County)

As a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, Rep. Martin has been a constant voice for protection of our water and community health. Rep. Martin has a 97% lifetime score for pro-environmental votes by the NC League of Conservation Voters and a 100% score since 2015. He received the League of Conservation Voters’ “Defender of the Environment Award” in 2010.

Great Blue Heron Awards

This award is given in recognition of long term contributions to the protection of the Neuse and/or Tar-Pamlico and/or to the success of the Sound Rivers and its predecessor organizations

Alex Manda, Greenville

Alex served on the Sound Rivers Board of Directors from 2010-2018. He was a dedicated volunteer, and has been integral in bringing a wealth of knowledge and scientific expertise to the organization. Alex Manda is an ECU professor of Hydrogeology; his research was recently highlighted in a Washington Post article on the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on Eastern NC’s agriculture.

Jake Jacobson, New Bern

Jake Jacobson has been a powerful advocate for Sound Rivers (and previously the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation) for many years.  He began on the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation board in 2009 and retired in 2018. Jake is a retired professor (emeritus) from Washington & Jefferson College. He continues in his role as an ambassador for Sound Rivers’s mission and serves on our advocacy committee with a passion for education and outreach. Many years ago, he and Upper Neuse Riverkeeper Matthew Starr documented, for the first time in NC, the impact of coal ash pollution on the Neuse River.

Tim Kelley, Greenville

Tim Kelley is a professor at ECU in the College of Health and Human Performance. He served on the Sound Rivers (and previously Pamlico-Tar River Foundation) board from 2009-2018 and was the Development Committee chair for over a year. His knowledge and research interests in environmental health continue to be very valuable to our Riverkeepers’ work.