The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office has retrieved the body of a Mandeville man from Lake Pontchartrain.
Capt. George Bonnett, the sheriff's spokesman, says the coroner's office identified the victim as 59-year-old Charles Ellis. Deputies pulled the man's body from the lake Saturday afternoon. Bonnett says Ellis is believed to have been swimming in the area near the Mandeville harbor.
Toxicology tests are pending. An exact cause of death remains under investigation.
Bonnett said Monday that there were no obvious signs of foul play.
The Tangipahoa Parish Council voted unanimously to award a $4.8 million contract to Bertucci Contracting Co. of Metairie to construct a stone breakwater designed to halt coastal erosion in the extreme northwestern corner of Lake Pontchartrain.
Parish engineer Maurice Jordan told The Advocate on Monday a 10,000-linear-foot wall can be constructed from an area just west of the mouth of the Tangipahoa River toward Pass Manchac, which empties into Lake Pontchartrain.
About 1,000 new Cypress saplings are taking root in the Bonnet Carré spillway. The project coordinated by America’s Wetland Foundation is taking advantage of the Mississippi River silt diverted during last spring’s high water levels.
Ten teams are working the shorelines from Terrebone Parish to the west, along the coastal bays and up into Lake Pontchartrain. BP is paying environmental consulting firm Entrix to look for underwater oil. Clumps of white material resembling pompoms are suspended in the water. Staff scientist Chelsea Murphy explains the process it calls the "Sentinel" program, while on board a boat following teams motoring between buoys.