Jenna Witzleben

Ecology School blog

Welcome to the Ecology School blog, where I document my ongoing self-education in ecology, landscape design, and urban design.

Five Types of Bio-remediation

Photo: William Bourassa Jr.

Photo: William Bourassa Jr.

Photo: Laurie Olinder

Photo: Laurie Olinder

Photo: Earth Celebrations

Photo: Earth Celebrations

Last spring I was delighted to have stumbled upon a posting for Earth Celebrations Ecological City on Meetup. I joined their large working group of artists and activists passionate about parks, gardens, and ecological design in our city. I participated in costume design workshops throughout the spring of 2018 and in the parade through the Lower East Side of NYC in May, where I embodied the spirit of a bioswale, and danced with other performers from garden to garden.

I am excited to be participating in this group again this year, especially given the recent developments in the plans for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. During the opening meeting a few weeks ago, Dee Maucher presented on her bio-remediation sculpture work. She explained how her art pieces included five types of remediation: phyto, micro, myco, moss, and mollosk. I am fascinated by reciprocity and bio-remediation and wanted to learn more so I’ve briefly researched what these five types mean and have detailed them below:

Photo: Conservation Garden Park

Photo: Conservation Garden Park

Phyto-remediation

Phyto-remediation involves the use of plants to clean up the soil and groundwater around them. Some good plants to work with for soil and water remediation include Indian Mustard, Willow trees, Poplar trees, Indian grass, and Sunflowers. You can read more about phyto-remediation here.

Photo: MultiBriefs

Photo: MultiBriefs

Microbial remediation

Microbial remediation involves the use of microbes, like bacteria or fungi, to remove soil pollutants. Often these microorganisms use the pollutants as a type of food source. More details can be found here.

Photo: The New Food Economy

Photo: The New Food Economy

Myco-remediation

Myco-remediation, which can be considered a sub-type of microbial remediation, involves specifically using different types of mushrooms to remove chemical polluntants, heavy metals, and other toxins from the soil. More info here.

tree-trunk-moss-725x483.jpg

Moss Remediation

Studies have shown that some types of moss can absorb a quantity of toxic metals up to 74% of their weight!

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Mollusk Remediation (Oysters and clams)

Mollusk species are excellent at filtrating water and removing excess nitrogen (i.e. from fertilizer runoff), preventing harmful growth of algae. More details can be found here.

 

If you’re interested in the topics covered on this blog and live in NYC, I highly recommend you join the Ecological City parade in some way. Feel free to contact me or their organization team with any questions.

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