Deposits for Our Future


Theryn Henkel, Ph.D., is the assistant director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s (LPBF) Coastal Sustainability Program. Along with operating water quality and educational programs, the organization’s Coastal Sustainability Program uses multiple methods to help ensure the future of Louisiana’s coast, including scientific studies, restoration projects and long-term analysis.

This photo was taken this past April when Henkel was at the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion, located 15 miles downriver from New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish. Constructed in 1991 by the Army Corp of Engineers to manage flood stage and basin side salinity, the diversion has resulted in sediment deposits and wetland growth. The area’s Big Mar Pond has seen 776 acres of wetland growth from 1998 to 2016.

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Using a high-precision Trimble GPS, Henkel can measure the elevation of an area with an accuracy of within 3 inches. She can then relate the elevation to the vegetation that has colonized on the new land.

Interested in joining in LPBF’s efforts? Multiple volunteer opportunities are available, including tree plantings in swamps and marshes. For more information, visit


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