When you hear the word “Destin,” beautiful white sand beaches and emerald green waters from the Gulf of Mexico. While this may be the main thing that people think about when “Destin” comes to mind, there is plenty more beauty to be had, namely the Choctawhatchee River Basin. A resident of Destin, Florida and a conservationist named Foster Sanders noticed this river basin’s beauty, and how remarkably similar it was to another basin he had a spent time with.
Foster Sanders is a man who grew up in Louisiana, loving the outdoors and continually participating in activities to help get him closer to it. While in college, Sanders served as the Director for the Youth Sunday School at Fishing Bridge, an event that takes part in, and is part of the the Yellowstone National Park Church services. Sanders’ exposure to the great outdoors during this time only heightened his love and admiration for it.
Upon returning to Louisiana, Foster Sanders decided to run and serve two terms as the president for the prestigious Baton Rouge Sportsmen’s League. During his time serving, in his second term, the organization was the recipient of a nationally recognized award for the conservation efforts made by the Baton Rouge Sportsmen’s League.
Sanders’ conservation efforts didn’t end there, though. After his service as the Sportsmen’s League’s president, he went on to help found the Save the Atchafalaya Basin, Inc. Sander’s served as the president and the voice for this new organization, leading the fight in what could arguably be the most outstanding conservation achieve in the entire history of Louisiana. Sanders worked toward debating the issue statewide and became the chief fundraiser to conserve the Atchafalaya river basin. After many long debates throughout the state, a compromise had finally been reached, between the landowners in the Basin, oil and gas industries, and the Louisiana sportsmen and environmentalists.
Sanders has resided in Destin for over a decade now, and he sees a lot of the similarities in the Choctawhatchee river basin that he does in the Atchafalaya river basin that he worked hard to preserve. He calls the Choctawhatchee river basin a “true treasure of Florida.” The beauty that the basin encompasses has even inspired him to write a book about it, Almost To Destin. Almost To Destin is set in the “Ebenezer Forest,” a fictional component of the Choctawhatchee river basin. This book, Almost To Destin, is the first book in his Leila Jane Hewitt saga, with the sequel, Almost To Aspen, following the events of the first book. Foster Sanders continues showing his affection for the great outdoors by writing about it passionately in his books, and proving to his audience that there is more beauty to Destin than just the beach.