Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation held its 27th annual Beach Sweep presented by Toyota, a day designated to clean up around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, on Saturday, September 17, 2016. LPBF’s Beach Sweep was held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by Ocean Conservancy. Volunteers, partners, and sponsors helped 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 were 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 included Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Tammany, and East Baton Rouge parishes. To view the Zone Map, click here.
Debris picked up by volunteers was recorded on data cards or in Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app, which both catalogued and quantified the types and amounts of trash collected. LPBF forwarded 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 provided picnics for registered participants. The picnic is a way to bring everyone together 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.
This year the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation again placed our own LPBF storm drain decals, provided through a grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful, on storm drains in the metropolitan area. These decals alert our citizens that all storm drains lead to the lake, so we must avoid dumping trash in them in order to prevent flooding and the pollution of Lake Pontchartrain.
Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Inc. is the state’s anti-litter and community improvement organization focused on education, enforcement, awareness, and cleanups. Affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s mission is to promote personal, corporate, and community responsibility for a clean and beautiful Louisiana. With a network of 39 affiliates in communities throughout the state, over 23,000 volunteers work toward a clean and beautiful Louisiana.