Lake Pontchartrain Basin:  Bottom Sediments and Related Environmental Resources

USGS Professional Paper 1634
Chapter I

Basics of the Basin Symposium

Edited by John Lopez1

1 Amoco Oil Company

Since 1992, four "Basics of the Basin" (BOB) Symposia have been held in New Orleans and Hammond, LA. At each of these meetings, technical oral and poster presentations were made on research or management issues regarding the Pontchartrain Basin. The Pontchartrain Research Committee, which manages the BOB symposium, recognizes the Pontchartrain Basin as extending from the "Florida Parishes" north of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana on southward to include all of the marshes and sounds in Louisiana east of the Mississippi River. This vast expanse ranges from pine savanna to open marine water. However, the ecological and cultural heart of the basin is Lake Pontchartrain. This lake is really a tidal bay and is 25 miles north to south and 40 miles east to west. Nearly a third of Louisiana residents live around the perimeter of beautiful Lake Pontchartrain.

Our meetings have generally been organized into four topic areas:

- Physical processes
- Environmental issues
- Ecology
- Wetland management

Discussion panels are also held on special topics.

Abstracts from all four years are available here:

1992 meeting participating organizations Table of Contents full abstracts
1994 meeting conference roster Table of Contents full abstracts
1996 meeting conference roster Table of Contents full abstracts
1998 meeting participating organizations Table of Contents full abstracts


The Basics of the Basin research symposium has had financial support from the following organizations:

  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
  • Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
  • Louisiana Geological Survey
  • Pontchartrain Ecosystem Research and Education Program
  • Amoco


These meetings have enjoyed participation from the following organizations:


University of New Orleans, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, Xavier University, Southern Illinois University, Delgado College, University of South Alabama, Loyola University

Federal agencies:

U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Wetlands Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, Stennis Space Center

State agencies:

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Geological Survey, Gulf Coast Research Lab, Louisiana Agricultural Extension Service, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab

Private companies:

Wetland and Wildlife Management Company, Crawford and Associates, TGS Technologies, Steimle and Associates, Lumitox Gulf, Rufe LeBlanc School of Clastic Sediments, Amoco, Conoco, San’Doil Company, CNG, Burke-Kleinpeter and Associates, Enviro Planning

Non-Profit participants:

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Coalition to restore Coastal Louisiana, Citizens for a Clean Tangipahoa, Barataria-Terrebone National Estuary Program, Sierra Club, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Generous financial support has been received from the U. S. Geological Survey, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Amoco, Freeport-McMoran Pontchartrain Ecosystem Research and Education Program, Center for Coastal Energy and Environmental Resources.


The Pontchartrain Research Committee (PRC) was formed in 1992 shortly after the first "Basics of the Basin" research symposium was held. The planning committee for this first meeting formed the core membership of the initial PRC. The overall mission of this committee is to promote good science for the Pontchartrain Basin. This is accomplished by fostering an effective scientific network by symposia or other scientific forums. In addition to the Basics of the Basin Symposia, a forum addressing urban runoff was held in December 1992. Committee members also have been called upon in an advisory capacity to various governmental and environmental groups. This committee plans to continue to be active and is willing to consider project proposals related to the basin. We intend to continue to work closely with the scientific community and with environmental groups whose primary concern is the Pontchartrain Basin. We also intend to continue to hold this symposium on a biannual basis.


Michael Poirrier
University of New Orleans
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Phone (504) 280-7041
Fax (504) 280-6121

Jeff Waters
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
PO Box 6965, Metairie, LA 70009
Phone (504) 836-2215
Fax (504) 836-7283

John A. Lopez -- committee chair
387 Carr Dr., Slidell, LA 70458
Phone (504) 596-3986
Fax (504) 596-3996

Dr. George Flowers
Tulane University
Geology Dept.
Phone (504) 865-5198
Fax (504) 865-5562

Dr. Shea Penland
University of New Orleans
Dept. of Geology
Phone (504) 280-3119

Dr. Alex McCorquodale
University of New Orleans
Dept. of Civil Engineering
Phone (504) 280-6074

Dr. Donald Barbé
University of New Orleans
Urban Waste Management Research Center
Phone (504) 280-7062
Fax (504) 280-7413

Mark Davis
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Executive Director
Phone (504) 344-6555
Fax (504) 344-0590

Dr. Robert Hastings
Turtle Cove Biological Research Station, Director
Southeastern Louisiana State University
Phone (504) 549-2141/549-3740
Fax (504) 549-5092

Dr. Jack Kindinger
U.S. Geological Survey
St. Petersburg , FL
Phone (813) 893-3100 x 3018

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