Wells Reserve Director Receives National Honor
Associated People Paul Dest
WELLS, Maine, November 4, 2011 — Paul Dest, director of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), was presented with the 2011 NERR System and NERR Association Award at the annual NERRS/NERRA meeting at Ponte Verde Beach, Florida, on October 27. The award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the reserve system.
“It is truly an honor to be recognized, and especially meaningful when it is by one’s peers,” said Dest.
The presentation was made by Rebecca Ellin, NERRA president, and Laurie McGilvray, chief of the Estuarine Reserves Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Ellin said the Wells Reserve “is often cited as an example of a well-managed program that responds to the management information needs of coastal stakeholders.” She cited Dest’s key role in the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative and many years of service to the NERR Association, a nonprofit with a national reach.
Ellin also called attention to the success Dest has demonstrated without the typical state/university partnership used by the other 27 reserves in the system. The Wells Reserve is the only site in the system with a nonprofit organization, Laudholm Trust, as the state partner.
“Paul always has a positive, can-do attitude. He is creative, optimistic, and solution-oriented. He provides diplomatic and constructive feedback. And he supports a top-notch staff who themselves are leaders,” summarized Ellin.
Dest is the second Wells Reserve staff member to be recognized with the NERRS/NERRA Award. Research Director Dr. Michele Dionne was honored in 2008.
The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve protects and restores coastal ecosystems around the Gulf of Maine. Staff and volunteers expand knowledge about coasts and estuaries, engage people in environmental learning, and involve communities in conserving natural resources.
The work of the Wells Reserve and the care of its historic site are made possible by Laudholm Trust. Organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1982, member-supported Laudholm Trust provides vital monetary and in-kind support to the Wells Reserve. This local support enables the Wells Reserve to receive additional funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.