While growing up in Atlanta, author and photographer Ginger Jackson Sinton spent many summers enjoying the Gulf Coast. Although her graphic design business kept her busy while she raised two children — Ginger, a part-time South Walton resident — found her passion in creating a book on Walton County’s fifteen geological treasures, Rare Coastal Dune Lakes: Biodiversity and a Sense of Home.
“When I realized a few years ago what spectacular gems the lakes are, and that this area is one of the most bio-diverse spots in the country, I decided it was worth capturing with words and photos,” said Sinton.
The book — which began as a Capstone project for her Master’s degree in Professional Writing — is a 112-page soft-bound coffee table book, with full color photos of the lakes, their ecosystems, and the wildlife that are at home along Scenic Highway 30A.
Northwest Florida is home to fifteen rare coastal dune lakes that share an intermittent connection with the Gulf of Mexico. The dune lakes are mostly freshwater lakes with occasional saltwater exchange from the gulf, creating biologically diverse ecosystems ecosystems.
Natural habitats for a huge variety of flora and fauna, coastal dune lakes are brackish, dynamic, geological treasures.
“I am not a biologist,” said Sinton. “I simply created a tool to spread the message about the biodiversity of these ecosystems. It gives locals and tourists general information on the lakes and reflects images of their beauty.”
Sinton explores the beauty of the lakes and the diversity of the ecosystems surrounding them. With an eye for nature and the environment, she weaves personal anecdotes through the photo guidebook. The “Sense of Home” in the subtitle is twofold: the dune lakes habitats of native plants and animals and her own fondness for the colorful locale along the gulf coast.
“Many people know of the lakes, but don’t understand why they are so special,” said Sinton. “Hopefully, my little book will help.”
The book can be found at various bookstores and shops along 30A, including Sundog Books in Seaside, The Hidden Lantern in Rosemary Beach, The Blue Giraffe in WaterColor, and at Nest 30A and Grayt Grounds at Monet Monet in Grayton Beach.