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



The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s Education Department’s goal is to educate the public on important issues affecting the Pontchartrain Basin.  With increased awareness of water quality and coastal issues, citizens of the basin become better stewards of the region where they live.

For teachers of students K-12, the education staff provides an Educator's Packet for lessons offered at the New Canal Lighthouse. For girl scouts, LPBF offers the LPBF "patch". Contact for details on how to qualify to get the patch. For urban planning classes, university organizations and civic groups more specialized presentations are offered. Call LPBF's Education Department at 504-836-2238 to schedule a presentation. LPBF programming is conducted onsite at LPBF's New Canal Lighthouse as well as offsite.  LPBF also works in partnership with other organizations to keep the community informed about basin issues.

More LPBF Educational and Service Opportunites:
Beach Sweeps:
1st Spring Sweep Presented by Entergy and 26th Annual Beach Sweep Presented by Toyota

LPBF's first Spring Sweep presented by Entergy is scheduled for Saturday, March 21st. 26th Annual Beach Sweep Presented by Toyota is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2015. In participating in either sweep groups work to pick up litter, clear storm drains and document the debris to send data to Ocean Conservancy.

The sweep area includes local beaches, lakefronts, bayous, canals and streets as part of efforts put forth in the Spring by Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup and in the Fall by the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by The Ocean Conservancy.  Businesses, school groups, scout groups, church organizations, and individuals are encouraged to participate in the annual event. You can participate on many levels from sponsor to volunteer.

If you would like more information, please see LPBF's Beach Sweep page or contact the education department at (504) 836-2238 or

Lighthouse Docent Program, Coastal Crew & Other Volunteer Opportunities

Become a Lighthouse Volunteer Tour Guide: Docent Program

Docents are volunteers who serve as tour guides and educators at the New Canal Lighthouse. LPBF offers a 2 hour docent training program followed by self-practice and shadowing to prepare volunteers interested in assisting at the New Canal Lighthouse. These volunteers lead guided tours through the museum and act as education assistants.

Requirements: Docents must be at least 18 years of age, attend two hours of training and be able to commit to two 3 hour shifts per month. If you are interested in being trained as a docent email:

Join LPBF's Coastal Crew

Since the 2005 hurricane season Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has increased efforts to teach about the critical coastal issues of our region. To do this the Education Department has created a Coastal Crew of volunteers.  These volunteers are required to attend one training session. Training is held monthly at the New Canal Lighthouse. Check our calendar on the LPBF home page for the next Coastal Crew training date.

Armed with information and educational materials, the crew goes out to community events and festivals to help spread the word on the coastal needs of our region.  Basin residents, 18 years or older, who enjoy meeting people, are willing to “table” at weekend or evening festivals and are interested in the health of our basin can call JoAnn at (504) 836-2238 or email to join. Training updates are also provided.  We can use your help!

Assist at an LPBF Coastal Planting.

Contact for dates and locations. Swamp and marsh plantings are planned in the next few months. Check LPBF's homepage calendar for dates and times.

Group Presentations at the New Canal Lighthouse

LPBF PresentationsYour group is invited to come out to the New Canal Lighthouse to hear a presentation on basin related issues and/or tour the museum. We can tailor subjects to suit your interests. The lighthouse museum and education center is open for tours six days a week. Group presentations for adults and children on specific topics are offered by appointment at no charge. There is a charge to tour the museum. Call the LPBF Education Department to schedule a program. (504-836-2238)
Click here to see our K-12 Educator's Packet. Additional programs available to the public are listed below.

Waterways and New Orleans: New Orleans was founded in 1718 on a high piece of ground to serve as a major gateway to the country.  Surrounded by water, New Orleans, along with SE Louisiana, is critical to the rest of the nation.   Learn how the waterways played an important role in New Orleans’ past.  Also hear how they will affect our region’s future as we move forward with increased hurricane protection.

Women Keepers of New Canal Lighthouse: The New Canal Lighthouse is very unique in that it had five women lightkeepers. This presentation will talk about the duties of the keepers and give some insight into the lives of the five brave women who maintained the light at New Canal. It'll discuss the evolution of the lanterns of the lighthouses and how today New Canal shines out for mariners on the lake.

Hurricanes and Coastal Restoration
:  The affects of the hurricanes of 2005 on the Pontchartrain Basin were far reaching.  This presentation will help you understand how the region was inundated and what can be done to protect it.  The Multiple Lines of Defense strategy created by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation provides the blue print for South Louisiana’s future.  Hurricane protection as well as coastal restoration will allow us to continue to live in the area while keeping our basin viable as an economic driver for the rest of the nation.  You will also learn about the updated status of the area’s storm protection.

Subsidence, Climate Change and S.E. Louisiana:  Climate change is very controversial.  SE Louisiana has been dealing with annual subsidence long before climate change was even considered.  How will our basin survive in the future?  What can be done?

Non-point Source Pollution & Habitat Protection:  Non-point source pollution causes the majority of water pollution affecting our basin.  Learn about the sources of pollution and the work being done to stop it so our many basin habitats can flourish.

Habitats of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin:  The Lake Pontchartrain Basin consists of many different habitats. Stretching from Uplands in the northern part of the basin to salt marshes to the south, these habitats provide home to many types of seafood and wildlife. What is safe, what is endangered?  How is LPBF working to protect the habitats that make up the basin?

Water Quality:  For the past half century, the water quality of the Pontchartrain Basin suffered until the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation was founded in 1989 with the goal of restoring and preserving this natural resource. Learn about the programs that were successful in improving the health of Lake Pontchartrain, resulting in the lake’s removal from Louisiana’s impaired water bodies list in 2006.

 What are wetlands made of, where are they located in our basin and how do they serve us?  Critically important to the economic and ecological health of the basin, learn about the role they play and how we can protect them.

Swim Program & Free Lessons: May 9-13, 2016

The Ashley Kelly Swim Program (AKSP): Registration will begin on May 1, 2016. Class times are 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. Thanks to Gulf Coast Bank for sponsoring the AKSP program.

If you are interested in being trained as a certified Water Safety Instructor see below. Classes FREE as part of the AKSP.

FREE Water Safety Instructor (WSI) training: May 2-6, 2016

To register as a WSI, contact TJ Natal at Loyola at (504)865-7375. WSI’s, once trained, teach the participants in the week-long AKSP swim program in the evenings. WSI training dates and times: May 2-6, 2016.

The Ashley Kelly Swim Program – St. John the Baptist Parish:

Dates: During summer at the Regala Pool in Reserve at 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Call (985)652-9569 (Dept of Parks and Recreation) for more information.

Swim Program details: The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation partners with the Ashley Marie Kelly Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Tulane University to provide a free week-long swim program in May to anyone in the Pontchartrain Basin who is age 5 or older. Lessons are held at Loyola University’s Recreational Sports Complex. They consist of 5 weekday classes, each a 40-minute session of swim instructions. In addition to this, each day there is a 5-minute session about environmental issues that affect the Pontchartrain Basin. We live surrounded by water and need to know how to be caretakers of our environment as well as how to safely enjoy the recreation it offers. The program is also done in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Volunteers are needed each year to assist in this program. To provide an adequate number of instructors, an additional program was created to train strong swimmers 16 years or older to be Water Safety Instructors (WSI). Normally a $300 class, the WSI students attend a week of instruction free of charge and complete training the following week by serving as swim instructors for the Ashley Kelly Swim Program. Classes are offered in the evenings.



For more info on Additional FREE swim lesson programs available in Orleans Parish through the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and the American Red Cross call Red Cross at 504-620-3105.)

LPBF's Water Watch Program

Water Testing for Classroom Instruction
With the assistance of funding from Shell, LPBF facilitates a program for teachers in the basin who are interested in having their students perform water monitoring tests and collect real time data to measure water quality.
The Water Watch Program provides the perfect opportunity for students to be exposed to actual data collection as well as graphing and charting information, forming hypotheses and testing to get conclusions. The Water Watch program is designed to be a full year or semester long program.

To get your class involved, email or call (504) 836-2238. Click here to see more information on LPBF's Water Watch Program and participating schools.

John Clinton Burrus "School of Fish" -
Dates: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 or Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Time: 8am-12noon
Registration will begin on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

John Clinton Burrus "School of Fish"
A one half day free" learn to fish" program will be held at the New Canal Lighthouse to give children, aged 8-15, information, fishing tips and practice with rods and reels.

For any questins email To register online click here.



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