"Water Watch" Field Trips

To participate in Water Watch, call the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s Education Program: (504) 836-2238. To participate in both of these programs, call early in the school year

Water Watch guides students through a year-long study of water quality in the drainage canals of the New Orleans metropolitan area and the streams and rivers of the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Water Watch enables student participants to:

  • learn a number of methods to assess water quality. They will measure parameters such as fecal coliform bacteria, pH, nitrates, phosphates, and dissolved oxygen;

  • gain an understanding of the condition of the waterways in their community; use their knowledge to inform their peers and the general public of the water quality issues affecting their lives, and be personally involved in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s campaign to “Save Our Lake.”


With help and guidance from Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation staff, you and your students choose a water body near your school that you monitor for a whole school year. The water can be a drainage canal, bayou, or river.


What better way to incorporate interdisciplinary, relevant, real-world, hands-on science teaching methods into your curriculum than through investigation of the water quality of water bodies in your community? By participating in Water Watch your students learn valuable science skills, and the data they collect becomes part of a body of scientific knowledge vital to the solution of water pollution problems. You measure a range of parameters on a bi-weekly basis. The parameters include: fecal and total coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen, nitrates and phosphates, pH, water and air temperature, and general environmental observations. Students analyze the collected data and report the final results to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. In the spring the students present their findings at a public symposium for all participants.


The students of today are tomorrow’s leaders and problem solvers. As educators we have the responsibility of helping students gain the necessary investigative and problem-solving skills in order to be effective stewards of our precious natural resources in the years to come. Water Watch helps build these vital skills at the same time as collecting specific data on the water quality in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin