New Canal Lighthouse to benefit from long-distance swim

Published: Apr. 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2012 at 4:23 PM CDT
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New Orleans, La. - While Jazz Fest expects hundreds of thousands of attendees this year, only two of them will be swimming across Lake Pontchartrain.

The historic New Canal Lighthouse at Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  Now the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has begun construction to rebuild it.

To raise funds for this historic New Orleans landmark and to raise awareness about the sensitive ecological area, Matthew Moseley and Glynde Mangum will swim 23 miles from the North Shore to the New Canal Lighthouse.

They will essentially track the longest bridge in the world.  However, the swim will not be visible from the Causeway.

The swim is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd starting at 3:00 A. M at Bayou Castine --approximately three miles from the Causeway.

The estimated total swimming time is approximately 12 to 13 hours to finish about 3:00 p.m. at the New Canal Lighthouse and everyone is welcome to cheer for Moseley and Mangum as they swim ashore by the New Canal Lighthouse.

This swim will also celebrate the 23 years the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has worked to restore the Pontchartrain Basin including its water quality and habitat.

Moseley and Mangum are dedicating the swim to New Orleans blues man and friend Coco Robicheaux, who passed away in November of 2011.

"The Lighthouse is an important historical feature of New Orleans, and we hope that people will make pledges for the swim to help restore this iconic landmark," said Sheila Englert, director of development and outreach for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Englert added, "We are also excited to celebrate all the years of hard work to clean up Lake Pontchartrain and this swim is a great way to do just that."

The Lighthouse will be the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's museum and education center and will offer exhibits and programs to the public about the ecology of the Pontchartrain Basin and the history of the New Canal Lighthouse.

Matthew Moseley now lives in Boulder, Colorado, but was born in New Orleans and raised in Louisiana.   He is an accomplished open water swimmer.  He made the first swimming descent of the Colorado River through Canyonlands for 49 miles and has competed in numerous open water swimming races.

"I am very grateful for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation for cleaning up our waterways and protecting our coastal habitat," said Moseley. "Lake Pontchartrain is a great recreational resource and I wanted to acknowledge their success in cleaning up Lake Pontchartrain by actually being a part of the ecology of the lake and doing a nice long swim."

Also swimming will be Glynde Mangum.  An accomplished open water swimmer and entrepreneur, he was a member of the USA National Swimming Team and an Olympic Swimming Trials Finalist in 1984.  He was also on the USA National Triathlon Team and competed internationally as professional triathlete from 1991 to 1997.

Glynde was the head coach of the People's Swimming School in Japan and coached two swimmers to the 1988 Seoul Olympics where they set national records.

As the public's independent voice, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is dedicated to restoring and preserving the water quality and habitats of the entire Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

Through coordination of restoration activities, education, advocacy, monitoring of the regulatory process, applied scientific research, and citizen action, LPBF works in partnership with all segments of the community to reclaim the Basin for this and future generations.

To make a pledge, go to