20 Years of Saving Our Lake and Coast
Lake Pontchartrain
Basin Foundation
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Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's success depends on the dedication and talents of thousands of volunteers. People often volunteer with us because they feel a personal commitment to protecting and restoring our basin, so that all of us can enjoy it. Motivated by this valuable feeling of ownership, volunteers get involved in a variety of fun, interesting events that we hold throughout the year. Learn more

Many of these events are annual, including our Back to the Beach Festival, Beach Sweep, Fishing Rodeo, Golf Classic, and Northshore "Let's Make Waves" Party.

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation staff also welcomes those who wish to volunteer in our office. Office volunteers regularly offer their time and talents throughout the year. Their assistance is invaluable. Learn more


Saturday, September 17, 2016
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. around Lake Pontchartrain
Picnic follows for Participants

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) will hold its annual Beach Sweep, a day designated to clean up around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Now in its 27th year, LPBF’s Beach Sweep is held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by Ocean Conservancy.  Volunteers, partners, and sponsors help care for the areas that drain the Pontchartrain Basin by cleaning curbs, ditches, and storm drains on city streets and rural roadways.  As an added activity, storm drain markers will be placed on drains in Orleans and Jefferson parishes.  This second project will help prevent our metro area from flooding and at the same time protect Lake Pontchartrain.  Designated areas for cleanup around the lake at this time include Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes.
Debris picked up by volunteers is recorded in Ocean Conservancy’s new data collection app, Clean Swell, or on data cards that catalogue and quantify the types and amounts of trash collected.  LPBF forwards this data to the Ocean Conservancy to be included in its International Coastal Cleanup master database of marine debris.
To say thank you to the volunteers, on Beach Sweep day LPBF’s Beach Sweep partners provide  a picnic for registered participants.  The picnic serves as a way to bring together everyone to celebrate the clean sweep of our region. Beach Sweep is an excellent avenue for stewardship and education/outreach. It provides a wonderful opportunity to help in keeping Lake Pontchartrain swimmable. 

 For more information about Beach Sweep, please contact Joann Haydel or Anne Barrett at (504) 836-2238,, or


Click the image below to view the Beach Sweep Zone Map

Thanks to over 1,800 volunteers who collected over 15,200 lbs. of trash!

Total trash LPBF's Fall Beach Sweep collected since 2006

Total 2006: 1953 volunteers  2077 bags of trash   ~140 miles
35,309 lbs trash  (# bags x 17#)           No recycling done
(including Tangipahoa  and St. Charles Parish)          

Total 2007: 1606 volunteers  1644 bags of trash    ~97 miles
27,948 lbs trash (#bags x 17#)        No recycling done
(including St. John Parish)

Total 2008: 1645 volunteeers 1353 bags of trash      ~95 miles
23,001 lbs trash (#bags x 17#)     12 bags alum cans recycled

Total 2009:  2100 volunteers    978 bags of trash     ~115 miles
16,625 lbs trash (#bags x 17#)          4 bags plastic bots recycled

Total 2010:  1840 volunteers    798 bags of trash     ~136 miles
13,566 lbs trash(#bags x 17#)           5 bags plastic bots recycled

Total 2011:  1740 volunteers    881 bags of trash     ~141miles
14,977 lbs trash(#bags x 17#)           2 bags plastic bots recycled

Total 2012:  1690 volunteers    1038 bags of trash     ~141miles
17,646 lbs trash(#bags x 17#)           2 bags plastic bots recycled

Total 2013: 750 volunteers (rainout event)
                   ~3000 lbs trash(#bags x 17#)

Total 2014:  1610 volunteers    870 bags of trash     ~120miles
14,800 lbs trash(#bags x 17#)           43 bags plastic and aluminum recycled

Total 2015:  1890 volunteers    895 bags of trash     ~140miles
15,215 lbs trash(#bags x 17#)           No recycling done

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions to LPBF are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Marine Litter Statistics
from the Ocean Conservancy

Litter is a severe problem on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. We need to stop this problem by being thoughtful with our trash and by picking up any trash we see. Pontchartrain will appreciate it and we will too.

Marine and shoreline litter can come from anywhere and be blown in by wind or travel by rivers, streams, storm drains and marine currents. Litter can originate from recreational and commercial activities on or near the water such as fishing, picnicking, boating and commercial shipping, oil and gas rigs, cruise ships, and construction. These activities and many others cause our waterways to become unsightly and pose a risk to human and animal health.

Top 10 Litter Items Worldwide:

1. cigarettes/cigarette filters
2. bags
3. caps, lids
4. food containers/wrappers
5. cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons
6. plastic beverage bottles (2 liters or less)
7. glass beverage bottles
8. straws, stirrers
9. beverage cans
10. rope

Decomposition Rates

Glass Bottle 1,000,000 years
Monofolament fishing line 600 years
Plastic beverage bottles 450 year
Disposable diapers 450 years
Aluminum can 80-200 year
Foamed plastic buoy 80 years
Rubber boat sole 50-80 years
Foamed plastic cup 50 years
Tin can 50 years
Leather 50 years
Nylon Fabric 30-40 years
Plastic film canister 20-30 years
Plastic Bag 10-20 years
Cigarette filter 1-50years
Wool sock 1-5 years
Plywood 1-3 years
Waxed milk carton 3 months
Apple core 2 months
Newspaper 6 weeks
Orange or banana peel 2-5 weeks
Paper towel 2-4 weeks
From: "Pocket Guide to Marine Debris," The Ocean Conservancy, 2004.
Sources: U.S National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, FL and "Garbage In, Garbage Out," Audubon Magazine, Spt/Oct 1998
Beach Sweep


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