About Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
As the public’s independent voice, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) is dedicated to restoring and preserving the water quality, coast, and habitats of the entire Pontchartrain Basin. Through coordination of restoration activities, education, advocacy, monitoring of the regulatory process, applied scientific research, and citizen action, LPBF works in partnership with all segments of the community to reclaim the Basin for this and future generations.
The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is a non-profit organization consisting of a 14-member board of directors representing Basin parishes and regulatory agencies.
The Lake Pontchartrain Basin is a 10,000 square mile watershed encompassing 16 Louisiana parishes. The land use of the region is both rural and urban and is the most densely populated region in Louisiana, including metro New Orleans and the state capital, Baton Rouge. It is one of the largest estuarine systems in the Gulf of Mexico containing over 22 essential habitats. The Basin's topography ranges from rolling woodlands in the north to coastal marshes in the south, with the 630 square mile Lake Pontchartrain as its centerpiece.
Creating The Foundation
The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation was established in response to environmental concerns voiced throughout the Basin.
Most of the environmental problems that challenge the Basin were well recognized by the mid-1970s, yet there was no common effort towards restoration. Small groups of concerned citizens won some local battles but were unable to direct the large-scale changes that were necessary to save the Basin from further degradation.
Over 90 governmental and regulatory entities were charged with managing the Basin, increasing the difficulty of Basin-wide restoration efforts.
In the spring of 1989, a report called "To Restore Lake Pontchartrain", written by professors at Tulane University and the University of New Orleans, called for the establishment of an entity whose sole focus would be a healthy Lake and Basin. That report became the rallying point for a citizen-led effort that resulted in the formation of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation that same year.
Save Our Lake, Save Our Coast
As its first action, LPBF began the SAVE OUR LAKE campaign working to restore Lake Pontchartrain for the public to use as a healthy economic and recreational resource. In 1995, LPBF developed a Comprehensive Management Plan jointly with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and numerous other federal, state, and local agencies, elected officials, area universities, sporting and recreational organizations, citizens groups, commercial fishing organizations, and representatives from the agricultural community and the business community. Its contributors exhaustively cataloged the threats to the Basin by sewage, agricultural and urban runoff, saltwater intrusion, and wetlands loss. It has served as the roadmap for LPBF programs and projects. Successful in this campaign by 2002, LPBF created a Comprehensive Habitat Management Plan (CHMP). The CHMP provides goals, strategies and methods designed for Basin sustainability.
In June 2005 to address CHMP goals, LPBF created a formal coastal sustainability program. Shortly before Hurricane Katrina, LPBF devised the Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy (MLODS). From this strategy the Pontchartrain Coastal Lines of Defense Program (PCLOD) was created. This program is a set of 10 projects and guidelines offered by LPBF to Federal and State agencies as the best way to provide coastal restoration and hurricane protection in the Basin. Additionally, out of MLODS came LPBF's SAVE OUR COAST campaign as part of the commitment to educate the citizenry on the importance of restoring our coastal wetlands, protecting wetland habitats, and providing flood protection across all of South Louisiana.
LPBF's latest efforts reach across the entire Louisiana coast with a broader plan called the Louisiana Coastal Lines of Defense. The plan uses the MLODS to set habitat goals and identify manmade and natural defenses that the State and Federal agencies can use to help provide coastal sustainability and storm protection for Louisiana.
For more information, please contact us.
LPBF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.