Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Human Pathogens in Lake Pontchartrain

Workshop Overview

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November 16-18, 2006
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Redfield 204
Wood Hole, MA 02543

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States.  By late morning of August 29 the storm had caused several sections of the levee system in New Orleans to collapse.  Subsequent flooding over ~80% of the city, much of which lies below sea level, resulted in widespread damage.  The volume of the floodwaters has been estimated at billions of liters.  Because of the configuration of the dewatering pumps, most of the water was discharged to Lake Pontchartrain, directly north of the city.  The conditions resulting from the tragedy in New Orleans represented a possible “worst case” scenario for contamination of coastal and estuarine waters.  What we learn from the analysis of samples taken there can help us to understand and predict what could happen in other coastal areas.  This workshop will accomplish the following goals:

1) Summarize and discuss research accomplished in direct response to the flooding following Hurricane Katrina to determine the short term and long term effects on the microbial community of Lake Pontchartrain.

2) Define a rapid response plan for sampling and analysis that will be made available to the research community.

3) Develop public presentations that will be utilized by workshop participants in public outreach activities, including at the Morss Colloquim on November 18, 2006.

The workshop includes invited talks, posters, and discussion sessions.  The workshop portion is open primarily to invited participants, although other interested researchers, postdocs and students are welcome to attend.  Participants are requested to register online.  Please register before Nov. 3, 2006.

The summary and discussion portion of the workshop will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16, and Friday Nov. 17, 2006 in room 2-04 in Redfield Building of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, located in Woods Hole Village. 

2nd Annual Morss Colloquium
Saturday, November 18, 2006
A Morss Colloquium will take place on November 18, 2006 that includes presentations summarizing what has been learned, along with a question and answer session.  The colloquium will be in Redfield Auditorium, in Woods Hole Village.    Please contact Bonnie Cormier ( for additional information.

» View 2nd Annual Morss Colloquium Website


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Last updated November 1, 2006
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