Lake Pontchartrain, "Okwa~ta"
A 630 square mile (1,600 sq. km) brackish estuary located just to the north of New Orleans in SE Louisiana, Lake Pontchartrain is part of one of the largest wetland complexes in the world. Basically oval in shape, it has an average depth of 12'-14' (3.7-4.3 m) and stretches 40 miles (64 km) east to west and 24 miles (39 km) south to north. Created thousands of years ago by the Mississippi River, it is named after Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, the French Minister of the Marine, Chancellor of France and Controller-General of Finances during the reign of the "Sun King", Louis XIV, after whom Louisiana was named.