Midnight at The Breakwater Studio.
Lake Pontchartrain began forming about 5,000 years ago when North American glacier melts caused the Mississippi River to swell and shift to the east. The river began depositing its sediments into the Gulf of Mexico, creating a broad delta which would later become Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes.
The delta grew slowly eastward over 2,000 years and eventually separated a large body of water from the Gulf. Native Americans called this body of water ‘Okwata’ meaning ‘wide water’, and they dwelled peacefully on its shores for centuries.
In 1699, Native Americans led the French settler, Pierre La Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, on a journey through the area’s Lakes and bayous. Iberville marveled at Okwata and renamed it Lake Pontchartrain, after the French Minister of the Marine at the time, the Comte de Pontchartrain.
Lake Pontchartrain is just one part of a vast ecological system called the Pontchartrain Basin. Known for its slow flowing rivers and bayous, tranquil swamps, and lush hardwood forests, the Basin provides essential habitat for countless species of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants.
The famous wetlands and marshes that surround the Basin’s waters provide a beautiful setting for wildlife and are the heart of the region’s commercial and recreational fisheries.
The Pontchartrain Basin is also the center of southeastern Louisiana’s unique cultural heritage. With almost 2.1 million residents, including rural farming communities, metropolitan New Orleans, and the fishing, shrimping, crabbing, and oyster industries, the area is brimming with a diversity of people bound by a common interest: the desire for clean and healthy waters in the Pontchartrain Basin.