WWL-TV reports that Pontchartrain Beach, fenced off and largely abandoned for years, will soon welcome back those looking for a place to enjoy the sun or take a dip on a hot summer day.

The Orleans Levee District on Thursday approved signing a lease with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation that will allow the nonprofit to reopen the beach to the public, likely by next spring.

"In 1991 or '92 we had the first Back to the Beach (Festival)," said John Lopez, who works for the foundation. "This is truly back to the beach."

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The beach re-opening was created by a proposal by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

The plan, which was first proposed before Hurricane Katrina, essentially marks the culmination of the foundation’s efforts to clean up and improve the water quality in the basin, a pivot from the “Save Our Lake” campaign long synonymous with the organization to an outreach and educational effort aimed at reconnecting New Orleanians with the lake.