The Jefferson Parish department of environmental affairs is sponsoring its 15th annual poster and essay contest highlighting nonpoint-source pollution and solutions. The contest is open to Jefferson Parish public, private and parochial school students in third through eighth grades.

Contestants will illustrate nonpoint sources of urban storm water pollution and participate in identifying solutions.

Unlike pollution from point sources such as a pipe from an industry, nonpoint-source pollution originates from a variety of sources and enters drains as storm water runoff. These sources are often in neighborhoods where products such as pesticides, cleansers and automotive fluids run off from lawns, streets and parking lots.

The poster contest is open to students in grades three through six, and the essay contest is open to students in grades seven and eight. Prizes will be awarded for first through third place and honorable mention in each grade level.

Entries should depict or describe at least one source of nonpoint-source pollution with an appropriate solution and must be postmarked by Jan. 16. Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in the spring.

To encourage participation in the contest, the environmental affairs staff is available to make classroom presentations on nonpoint-source pollution.

For more information or to schedule a classroom visit, call Sami Khalil, storm water management supervisor for the Jefferson Parish department of environmental affairs, at (504) 731-4612.

For more information on nonpoint-source pollution, its causes and solutions, visit

Fundraiser update

More than 500 people were guests at the 2014 Sipping With Santa event this month at Chateau Country Club.

“After all the money was counted, we made our goal of $50,000,” Janice Watsky said. “In five years, the event has raised and contributed nearly $150,000 to the Kenner Food Bank.”

Free harp concert

Rhett Bramwell, a composer and arranger of music for both the Celtic and pedal harp, is the guest artist for this year’s concert of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Harp Society at 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events on the east bank of Jefferson Parish. She can be reached by calling (504) 430-8053 or by email at