Mycoremidiation and the BP Oil Spill
Posted by jamonito on July 20 2010 12:31
This came in from club member Leah Faerstein:
We signed up to www.Matteroftrust.org, a group that collects mostly hair and fur to make booms to protect the beaches from oil. From one of their updates, I found these paragraphs:
First, mats made from human hair, invented by hair stylist Phil McCrory of SmartGrow.net <http://www.smartgrow.net> after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, were used by surfers and concerned citizens to clean up San Francisco's Ocean Beach in November of 2007. Next, Paul Stamets of Fungi.com <http://www.fungicom> donated Oyster mushroom spawn which shoots out millions of roots, clinging to the mesh of oil-soaked hairmats, helping to break down the hydrocarbon bonds in oil to hopefully turn the toxic waste into landscape-grade fertilizer. The natural process is called “mycoremediation."
The Oily-Hairmat-Eating Mushroom Project at the Presidio is headed up by Lisa Craig Gautier, founder of Matteroftrust.org, an ecological public charity. “The amazing support and media excitement for this project has been inspiring". The applications of this organic method has world wide potential for environmental restoration. “People are attracted to it because everyone understands oily hair and can track photos on Matteroftrust.org showing how the remediation research is working away on bunker fuel and used motor oil, a worse polluter of our oceans." Says Gautier. A wide range of agencies and organizations have come together to collaborate and advise on this project, including the Presidio Trust, the California Department of Toxic Substances and Control, the San Francisco Departments of the Environment, Emergency Services and Public Health, SF Mycological Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society and The East Bay Depot For Creative Reuse.