A new Gulf Star project started in May. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) is going to conduct Louisiana Water Watch at their new Canal Lighthouse location. The project is supported by the Hess Corporation and is a project of the Alliance’s Water Resources Team. This partnership is in line with the mission of the Alliance’s Gulf Star program to provide funding for projects directly tied to our Gulf economy, like water resources.
LPBF wants to learn more about the emergent natural and man-made pollutants that threaten the environmental integrity of the Lake Pontchartrain basin and estuary. Through citizen science, they are recruiting up to 100 residents from the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area to work at their new Lakefront Learning Lab.
The phenomenon of “Citizen Science” is of growing interest to both participants and government agencies nationwide, varying from large-scale crowd-sourcing by enthusiasts to small groups of volunteer experts collecting and analyzing environmental data. For this program, LPBF will engage volunteers to quantify algal pollution, microplastics, and measure salinity and turbidity from sites of interest to participants.
All partners participated in a kickoff event at the new Canal Lighthouse location. Alliance Headquarters staff present were Becky Ginn, Development Coordinator, and Christina Mohrman, Program Coordinator. The Louisiana Water Watch builds on successful Gulf Star funded citizen science monitoring programs in other states. It is an example of using Alliance state connections to spread tried and true programs where they are needed in other regional states, thus eliminating “recreating the wheel.”