Captain Dean A. Wilson is the Executive Director and Basinkeeper for Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, a waterkeeper group in south Louisiana working to protect
Captain Dean A. Wilson is the Executive Director and Basinkeeper for Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, a waterkeeper group in south Louisiana working to protect the Atchafalaya Basin. American born, Dean grew up in Spain but came to Louisiana in 1984 to prepare to go to the Amazon in Brazil. After living for four months in Louisiana’s deep swamps with only a spear, a few hooks and a bow and arrows, Dean fell in love with the area and decided to stay and make his living as a commercial fisherman in the Atchafalaya Basin. After years of observing the decline of the wetlands, he got his boat captain diploma and started a swamp tour company in 200
0 to try to raise awareness about the plight of the Atchafalaya Basin. In 2003 he was voted the Chair of the Atchafalaya Basin Committee by the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club. In the spring of 2004 Dean was approved as the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper by the Waterkeeper Alliance.
Currently, Basinkeeper is flying over the Basin regularly to monitor illegal activities, working on a hydrology plan that will guarantee the survival of the Atchafalaya’s swamps for future generations, challenging permit applications for new canals in the Basin, working to change useless timber easements so that they actually protect Louisiana’s cypress swamps, lobbying EPA and public officials to do their job protecting wetlands, working on an educational campaign and suing polluters and illegal developers of wetlands. In 2005 he became a leader in the fight against the cypress mulch industry, a movement that ended most cypress logging operations in coastal Louisiana in 2008.
“Both the Atchafalaya Basin and the Cajun way of life are rapidly disappearing. In an effort to save the Basin and this culture, I want to share my knowledge and love of this land with other people. I’m completely committed to the preservation of the Basin for future generations,” –Dean Wilson.
(Tuesday) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
111 Heymann Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70503