Harrison Marks, executive director of NC Coastal Land Trust

Harrison Marks has been selected to serve as executive director for the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. He will replace Walker Golder who succeeded Camilla Herlevich when she retired in 2020.

With offices in Wilmington, New Bern and Elizabeth City, Coastal Land Trust was founded in 1992 and has saved more than 85,000 acres with scenic, recreational, historic or ecological value.

“I have long been in awe of all the Coastal Land Trust has accomplished, protecting and stewarding the lands we love at the coast,” Marks said. “I am excited and grateful to have the opportunity and privilege to help conserve important lands and varied landscapes of the coastal plain.”

Springer’s Point Preserve on Ocracoke Island is owned and managed by the Coastal Land Trust, which initially purchased 31 acres in 2002. A series of successive acquisitions followed and an additional 91 acres was purchased in 2006.  

In May 2020, the Coastal Land Trust purchased two Pamlico Sound-front tracts surrounded by the preserve. In 2021, it purchased 8.63 acres at the preserve entrance on Loop Road, describing the acquisition as the “final puzzle piece” in the protection of Springer’s Point.

Springer’s Point. Photo: P. Vankevich

Marks was a member of the Coastal Land Trust’s Finance Committee before joining the board of directors in 2021. He stepped into the role of interim executive director in September 2022, taking a leave of absence from the board. Walker Golder had previously held the executive director position.

A longtime resident of Winston-Salem and New Bern, Marks attended Dartmouth College, earning a degree in biogeography and serving as co-chair of the newly formed environmental studies division of the Dartmouth Outing Club. He was a senior executive for Wachovia Bank. He served as executive director of Sound Rivers, overseeing the merger of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation and Neuse River Foundation into a new organization.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Harrison for many years,” said Camilla Herlevich, founder of the Coastal Land Trust. “He has a deep appreciation for the region, a love of the land and nature, and all of the skills needed to help the organization succeed now and into the future. Harrison is one of the kindest and most insightful persons I’ve ever met. I’m confident everyone connected with the Coastal Land Trust will be inspired by his leadership.”

Board of Directors President Hal Kitchin praised Marks’s work as interim director.

“He possesses a unique combination of leadership, management, and personal skills that will serve him well as executive director,” Kitchin said. “He is the right person to lead the organization as we celebrate 30 years of protecting the lands we all love.”

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