From the Director’s Desk is a twice-yearly blog series, written by Executive Director Lexie Bell. Lexie plans and directs the program’s work, and collaborates with the Estuary Program’s many partners to expand our collective success in the watershed. Lexie first began working in Morro Bay as a graduate student at the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Her graduate work analyzed the economic impact of visitors’ perceptions of environmental quality in Morro Bay. In addition to her Master’s degree, Lexie graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology. Previously, Lexie worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education, the Nature Conservancy, and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. A native of Florida, Lexie now lives with her family in Los Osos and enjoys our beautiful Central Coast beaches at every opportunity.
Our State of the Bay events have come to a close. Our final weekend included both our annual Estuary Poetry Contest at Coalesce Bookstore and DogFest in Morro Bay’s beautiful City Park. I want to thank the hundreds of people (over 900!) that participated in these many events. Your personal engagement with our estuary creates ripples of change as you interact with the environment in new and different ways and encourage those around you to love and protect our bay.
Protecting and restoring the bay is not a job the Estuary Program can do alone. From our start more than 20 years ago, we have relied on our community, our partners, and many of you to create positive change for our bay. It all starts with learning.
When you come to a science talk and learn how land on the hills connects to water in the bay, your connection to the estuary deepens. That connection can lead to bay friendly gardening, colorful conversations with friends, and picking up trash along the shore. Thank you for creating or strengthening that connection throughout our State of the Bay event series this year. We hope it continues for many more years!
State of the Bay happens every three years, but we are here working hard for the bay every day! You can connect with us online or visit our Nature Center at 601 Embarcadero. Subscribe to this blog to get weekly updates on science, water quality, and more. You can also support the work of the Estuary Program by donating today at www.mbnep.org/donate.
As always, we encourage everyone to explore our estuary through science even beyond State of the Bay. Look through a microscope at the Morro Bay State Park Museum, visit our Nature Center and spot wildlife through our new mounted scope and viewing station, paddle the bay and watch flocks of birds and curious harbor seals, and hike Black Hill for a view of the watershed.