Captain Dean A. Wilson is the executive director of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper. Dean cam to south Louisiana in 1984, at the age of 24, from Spain, and for the next 16 years, made his living as a commercial fisherman and hunter. Over time, Dean began to notice that pollution, illegal development, sedimentation and poor water quality were threatening the existence of his livelihood, as well as those of Cajun fishing families and the countless fish and wildlife species dependent upon the Basin. However, it was the clear-cutting of cypress forests for the production of mulch that made him stand up to something for the watery wildnerness he loved.
Dean found the Last Wilderness Swamp Tours, LLc to raise awareness about the plight of the Basin. In 2003, he was voted Chair of the Atchafalaya Basin Committee and in 2004, Dean became helped to found the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper. Atchafalaya Basinkeeper is dedicated to protecting and restoring the environmental health and productivity of the Basin. Because of Dean’s leadership, the group regularly uses SouthWings to monitor all the major forest basins in coastal Louisiana for illegal cypress logging and other destructive activities.