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Gulf of Maine Council Recognizes Paul Dest with 2023 Visionary Award

Posted by | June 29, 2023 | Filed under: News

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment has presented Paul Dest, executive director of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, with a 2023 Visionary Award. The award was conveyed June 7, 2023, at a ceremony hosted in Boston by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

Dest was cited for his outstanding contributions toward protecting natural resources at the Wells Reserve and the broader Gulf of Maine watershed. In a release, the council stated "For more than 30 years, Paul has worked to conserve and sustain the Gulf of Maine as a volunteer, naturalist, manager, mentor, and teacher." Paul started volunteering at Wells Reserve in 1989 and became its director in 2001.

Recipients of 2023 Visionary Awards conveyed by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment on June 7, 2023. Paul Dest is on the far right in the front row.

Among Dest's accomplishments the council noted were:

  • Guiding the Mount A to the Sea Conservation Initiative to establish a 19,000-acre conserved area in York County
  • Shepherding the York River Wild & Scenic River designation
  • Making the Wells Reserve the first 100% solar-powered nonprofit in Maine
  • Editing the first-ever Maine Coastal Access Guide
  • Increasing the Wells Reserve’s impact beyond its borders in southern Maine
  • Effectively working with Maine’s congressional delegation and growing the collective impact of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System through his leadership at the system's supporting association

About the Visionary Award

Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Awards are presented to individuals or organizations within each of
the five Gulf of Maine jurisdictions of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and
Nova Scotia. These awards recognize innovation, creativity, and commitment to promoting a healthy
Gulf of Maine.

About the Gulf of Maine Council

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment was established in 1989 by the Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts to foster cooperative actions within the Gulf watershed. The Council’s mission is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations.

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