20 Years of Saving Our Lake and Coast
Lake Pontchartrain
Basin Foundation
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Join Now! Join Now! Become a Member Sponsor an Event Volunteer


December 7 - Saturday
"Lights at the Lake" Lighthouse Holiday Event

December 24, 25 - Tuesday, Wednesday
Happy Holidays - Lighthouse closed

December 31, January 1 - Tuesday, Wednesday
Happy New Year - Lighthouse closed

January 7 - Tuesday
Coastal Crew/Docent training at Lighthouse
5:30pm - 7:00pm

February 3 - Monday
Coastal Crew/Docent training at Lighthouse
5:30pm - 7:00pm

March 15 - Saturday
Southshore Lakefront Bicycle Tour

Come see us at other events!


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.  Our staff works to involve the community in efforts to help Save Our Lake and Save Our Coast. With increased awareness of water quality and coastal issues, citizens of the basin become better stewards of the region where they live.

At the New Canal Lighthouse and out in the community the foundation provides adult presentations, children’s activities, field programs, written educational resources, and volunteer opportunities free of charge to teachers, students, schools, and civic groups.  LPBF also works in partnership with other organizations to keep the community informed about basin issues. For more information, please contact our Education Department at (504) 836-2238 or e-mail Program listings are below.

25th Annual Beach Sweep Presented by Toyota

The 25th Annual Beach Sweep Presented by Toyota is scheduled for Saturday, September 20, 2014. In participating in the 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, Northshore and Southshore lakefronts, bayous, canals and streets as part of the International Coastal Cleanup which is 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 the Beach Sweep page on our website or contact the education department at (504) 836-2238 or

Lighthouse Docent Program, Coastal Crew & 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 3 hour docent training program to prepare volunteers interested in assisting at the New Canal Lighthouse. These volunteers lead guided tours through the museum and the site and act as education assistants.

Requirements: Docents must be at least 18 years of age, attend three hours of training and be able to commit to two to three 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!

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 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)

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, Global Warming and S.E. Louisiana:  Global warming is very controversial.  SE Louisiana has been dealing with annual subsidence before global warming’s affects were 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.

Five Lives in the Light: (children's activity): A role play to tell the history of the five female lightkeepers who kept the light at New Canal Lighthouse in the past.

Learning Through Pretending: (children's activity): A role play to tell about a day in the life of a lighthouse keeper.

Lake as a Watershed: (children’s activity):  
What exactly is a watershed and how does it relate to water quality?  Using a hands-on activity, children can see the results of not caring for our basin and what we can do to help SAVE OUR LAKE.

Keeping Our Coast: (children’s activity):
 What strategy can we use to care for our coast and be protected from storms?  The Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy provides an answer.  Students will make a bead bracelet that represents the 11 lines of defense that will help SAVE OUR COAST and protect us from storms.

What are Wetlands: (children’s activity):
 What 3 things make up a wetland, how many wetland types do we have and how do they function?  In a hands-on activity, the students will see what wetlands look like and how they work to protect our region.

Swim Program & Free Lessons

The Ashley Kelly Swim Program - St. John the Baptist Parish
Dates: 3 sessions to be held the weeks of June 16, July 7 and July 21st at the Regala Pool in Reserve at 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Call 985-652-9569 (Dept of Parks and Recreation) to register.

The 11th annual Ashley Kelly Swim Program (AKSP) at Tulane University Reily Center was held in May 2014. Info on more New Orleans FREE swim lessons here.

Water Safety Instructor (WSI) training: May 5 - 9, 2014, 5pm-8pm
WSI training assessments: May 10,2014, 9:30am-12:00pm
Email for more information and to register for the WSI training class.

Swim safety classes at Reily Center: May 12-16, 5pm-8pm
Registration begins May 1st by email or phone. Email to register.

NOTE: 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.)

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation partners with the Ashley Marie Kelly Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Tulane University to provide a free weeklong swim program in May to anyone in the Pontchartrain Basin who is age 5 or older. These lessons are held at Tulane University's Reily Recreation Center.

Swim Lessons

The swimming lessons are provided by Red Cross trained Water Safety Instructors and are held at Tulane University. 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.

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 classroom 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.

The Ashley Kelly Swim Program will also be held in St. John the Baptist Parish in 2014 for the third year. Dates and more information to come..



Water Watch Program

Water Testing for Classroom Instruction

The Div Text Comes Here

LPBF facilitates 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 teacher picks one site, such as a drainage canal in the New Orleans metro area or a river or stream on the North Shore.  The teacher commits to collecting 10-12 water samples with her students. All samples must be taken from the same site.  These are analyzed for five parameters and the results are sent to LPBF.




After an introductory presentation by one of our staff either at the New Canal Lighthouse or the school, the teacher is given the necessary supplies and arranges for the students to test water at the site. Students take measurements for temperature, fecal coliform bacteria, pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. At the end of the school year the students present their results to LPBF staff members and an audience of their choice in the form of a PowerPoint presentation.

This 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.  To get your class involved, email or call (504) 836-2238.

John Clinton Burrus "School of Fish" -
Dates: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 or Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Time: 8am-12noon

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 9-16, information, fishing tips and practice with rods and reels. Fishing instruction will be led by LPBF's partner, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Participants will receive a tshirt and lunch. Email for details.



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