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The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s annual beach sweep happens Saturday

Volunteers enjoy cleaner lakefront communities (and a free picnic)

The New Canal Lighthouse (left) hosts a free picnic for beach sweep volunteers.
Volunteers clean up the lake at a previous Beach Sweep.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Strassel, communications strategist at Gambel Communications

Lakefront community residents are well aware of the positive aspects of living by Lake Pontchartrain. Rimmed by marshes and cypress swamps, the lake engenders incredible biodiversity: alligators, pelicans, dolphins, manatees, and bald eagles hang out in and around its brackish waters.

That’s one reason why it’s important to stem the tide of trash that enters the Gulf of Mexico via Lake Pontchartrain (which is technically an estuary). More than 5 million pounds of plastic pollute the oceans each year, and the Gulf has one of the world’s highest concentrations of microplastics, according to The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF).

This Saturday, Sept. 15, LPBF hosts its 29th annual beach sweep, sponsored by Toyota. Registered volunteers get free supplies and a free picnic at the New Canal Lighthouse (8001 Lakeshore Drive). The clean-up goes from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Then the picnic commences.

To register as a volunteer, call (504) 836-2238 or email