Thank you for supporting Science for our Coast!
Our mission is to drive environmental sustainability and stewardship through scientific research, education, and advocacy.
Thank you for making
Beach Sweep 2020 a success!
We can't thank our Beach Sweep sponsors & volunteers enough for helping pick up litter around the Pontchartrain Basin! Many of our volunteers cleaned up in the rain to help make difference for our lake and coast! Thank you!
Continuing to Protect the Lake
Be it fishing, boating, paddle boarding, or bayou belly flop contests, life in Louisiana revolves around water sports. But, how sure can we be that when we know that our favorite swimming hole is safe to take the plunge? I mean, we’ve all seen some of the scary creatures that live in these waters, what about the ones that we can’t see?
Well, you may be relieved to know that the Pontchartrain Conservancy is looking out for you and has been since 2001. Nearly every Tuesday for the past two decades - our Water Quality Department has monitored the water quality of some of the most popular recreation locations on both the North and South Shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Over the years, the program has expanded to twelve (12) sites. And it isn’t just summer, it’s all year round.

Nearly every week, Pontchartrain Conservancy water samplers collect field readings and bacteriological samples. Some of those parameters are water temperature, ambient air temperature, visibility, wind speed and direction. We also sample for dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, salinity, and turbidity. Bacteriological sampling evaluates three different parameters for the measure of fecal contamination of water; these bacteria are indicative of the microflora of the gut of a warm-blooded animal, but it helps agencies and responders to identify water that is contaminated by sewer overflow, sewer discharges, and non-point source pollution. There are other water quality parameters designed to measure other types of pollution, such as algal toxins, metals, and specific chemical compounds. But these tests are typically performed when a specific occasion arises. Taken as a whole, each sampling event, and the measurements they yield, help to provide a snapshot of how safe it may be for the public to come into contact with the water in and around the lake. 
The results of Pontchartrain Conservancy’s sampling activities are typically posted each Friday on our website. The raw data is posted to the website for all those community scientists out there, as well as some general recommendations for the rest of us. For instance, the bacterial markers increase after a heavy rainfall, when stormwater may come into contact with sewage, and the bacterial counts can remain high for three days after a rain event.  There’s also a wealth of information about the tests themselves and explanations of what each test indicates about the water quality. The results the Conservancy gathers from these sampling events is shared among other scientific and government organizations to help provide a better understanding of environmental trends, and the overall health of our water bodies on both a regional and national scale.  
Celebrating National Estuaries Week
In honor of National Estuaries Week, take a look at our Atlas of the Pontchartrain Estuary from 2017!
Last week - we celebrated National Estuaries Week - a nationwide celebration of our estuaries and the many benefits they provide to local communities. Organizations across the country celebrate National Estuaries Week by creating public awareness and support around our estuaries!
Our Atlas is a comprehensive study of our understanding of the Pontchartrain Estuary; comprised of 36 maps, and detailing 5,489 square miles it is a detailed representation of 58% of the total of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

The geographic boundaries of the Pontchartrain Estuary are the Mississippi River, the Chandeleur Islands, the LA/MS state line in Mississippi Sound, and the upper limits of the coastal zone around Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.

The Atlas is intended to summarize the general conditions and indicate possible trends of the Pontchartrain Estuary! We hope you enjoy it!
Join us Oct. 14 for Coastal Conversations
Coastal Conversations is a free event that allows our scientists to interact with community members to share their knowledge and perspectives on environmental issues that impact Louisiana. It is open to anyone in the public that is interested in the topic or wants to learn more about it!
In the Spring of 2019 the Bonnet Carre' Spillway was opened, and then again in the Summer of 2019. These became historic events for the Pontchartrain Basin and led to the longest period of the Spillway being open in history. Later that summer - a large algal bloom was observed in Lake Pontchartrain, and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) issued a health advisory for avoiding contact, including swimming. Pontchartrain Conservancy tracked and monitored the bloom as part of our Water Quality and Coastal programs.

Join us in person following COVID-19 guidelines or virtually on Oct.14th from 6-7 p.m. for this Coastal Conversation! We will take a deeper dive into contributing environmental factors to algal bloom events, algal data and trends in Lake Pontchartrain, as well as safety and risk with PC’s Brady Skaggs, Ph.D. and LDH’s Justin Gremillion, MPH, R.S.


A message from our Executive Director
Thank you to everyone who got out and participated in Beach Sweep despite the rainy weather we have had lately! Beach Sweep was a great way to celebrate National Estuaries Week. Cleaning up our neighborhoods that drain into Lake Pontchartrain is an easy and great way to care for our estuary. The water sampling mentioned above that our Water Quality team performs ensures you can safely enjoy our estuary for recreational uses year round.

We have many educational opportunities coming up to learn about the work we do here at Pontchartrain Conservancy. I hope you can join us!

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather outside exploring the Pontchartrain Basin!
Thank you, as always, for your support.
Executive Director Kristi Trail
UPCOMING EVENTS
October 8
Multiple Lines of Defense: Exploring Louisiana's Coastal Protections (Educator Professional Development). More information and register here!

October 13,14, 28, 29
Louisiana Coastal Forest Workshop:
Our forests, Our coast, Our future! More information coming to our website!

October 14
Coastal Conversations: "What are Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs)? What causes them?" More information and register here!