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Paul Dest

Wells Reserve Executive Director

Period of Service

1989 to present


207-646-1555 ext 124

As the Wells Reserves Executive Director, Paul provides overall management, planning, and leadership for the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. Before starting employment at the Reserve in January 2001, Paul worked as a Senior Planner with Maine State Planning Office's Maine Coastal Program and Land for Maine's Future Program (1996 to 2001), working on projects relating to coastal access and protection. Earlier in his career, he was a supervisor in the Public Affairs Division at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (1991 to 1996).

Paul has long been active as a volunteer in conservation in New England, having served on numerous boards and committees. He is also active nationally, and has served since 2003 on the Executive Committee (including as Treasurer from 2009 to today) of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, the nonprofit that works on behalf of all estuarine research reserves throughout the nation.

Paul enjoys wildlife watching, hiking, cycling, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. He lives in Kennebunk.

Paul has been involved with the Reserve since 1989, when he became a volunteer and a member of Laudholm Trust.

More about Paul

What is your choice of mascot for Wells Reserve and why?

The Striped Bass, as it is one of our important coastal and estuarine fishes.

What is your favorite place at Wells Reserve?

The Webhannet Overlook on the Knight Trail. The southern Maine landscape, from the Reserve to Mount Agamenticus, unfolds before the visitor's eyes.

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