The nonprofit Morro Bay National Estuary Program has named Lexie Bell its executive director.
Bell, who will begin her new role in January, has been the second in command for the past six years. She succeeds Adrienne Harris, who has worked with the organization since 2010.
Harris will remain active with the nonprofit, which brings together residents, local governments, agencies and landowners “to protect and restore the Morro Bay Estuary for people and wildlife.” Harris helped increase funding by 300 percent.
Bell began working in Morro Bay while she was a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She also has a bachelor’s degree in marine science and biology. Her background includes working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.
“Our efforts will increasingly address adaptation to climate change, the diversity of uses in the bay and preserving biodiversity,” Bell said in a statement.