Bridgeport Mycoremediation Response Team Project
Bridgeport, being a prominent industrial center for decades in US history, is suffering from the high pollution levels associated with heavy industries.
The land and surrounding waters, wildlife and people are affected.
SAVEfarms.org and its officers, Anya Pozdeeva and Christopher Toole, propose to initiate Bridgeport Mycological Response Team in collaboration with local Universities and the city of Bridgeport in attempt to clean up petrochemical spills, sites heavy metal contamination and leaching dumps in the most eco-friendly manner.
Seaside Park Dump. Our current proposals is to help de-toxify 63 acre city dump at Seaside Park using Bioremediation techniques. According to tests, there is a large amounts of toxic leachate rich in carcinogenic compounds, which enters the bay and poisons the water, killing marine life and possibly affecting health of local residents. This situation can be significantly improved with simple and cost-effective natural solution like bioremediation, with focus on mycoremediation.
Knowlton Park. The area of Knowlton Park, where the Scissors Factory used to be, is heavily contaminated with heavy metals. We propose to initiate a clean-up plan by physically removing the metal pieces as well as using bioremediation with plants like willow trees and fungi, which have ability to accumulate heavy metals in high volumes. The plants then can be removed from the property; heavy metals extracted from mushrooms and plants and recycled.
Bridgeport Animal Control. Our propagation, research and development zone is located behind the Bridgeport Animal Control, which includes mycelial bank of Pleurotus ostreatus. The narrow strip of inoculated wood shavings serves as a biological barrier between the farm and the creek. Oyster mushrooms mycelia have ability to devour pathogens like E-coli form bacteria and are used to purify city water run-offs.
What needs to be done to clean-up Bridgeport contaminated sites:
-Professional soil tests and water tests (pH, micro load and toxin load) after it rains, conducted in collaboration with local Universities
-Determination of types of fungi and possibly plants to be introduced to the site
-Inoculation of the site
-Monthly tests to monitor the results
We would appreciated any information that city has about the dump, including existing tests, the map of the Dump with most toxic areas, ets.
There are dozens, possibly hundreds of volunteers, who already expressed interest in participating in the Bridgeport Clean-up Project.
FYI: Mycoremediation, a phrase coined by Paul Stamets, a prominent American mycologist, is a part of bioremediation, the process of using fungi to degrade or sequester contaminants in the environment.
One of the primary roles of fungi in the ecosystem is decomposition, which is performed by the mycelium. The mycelium secretes extracellular enzymes and acids that break down lignin and cellulose, the two main building blocks of plant fiber. These are organic compounds composed of long chains of carbon and hydrogen, structurally similar to many organic pollutants.
In existing mycoremediation experiments, more than 95% of many of the PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) had been reduced to non-toxic components in the mycelial-inoculated plots, breaking down contaminants into CO2 and water.
Wood-decay fungi like Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus) are particularly effective in breaking down aromatic pollutants (toxic components of petroleum), as well as chlorinated compounds (certain persistent pesticides) (Battelle, 2000).
The enzymes secreted by many fungi actually stimulate aggressive toxin degradation by other microbes present in the soil as well as plants. Research findings support the outlook that some fungi can degrade complex toxins such as 4-5 ring PAH’s into simpler toxins more bio-available to other organisms. Starting with a supporting role, fungi can trigger a chain of commands in the soil ecosystem toward soil health.
Heavy metals (zinc, cadmium, mercury, lead, chromium and arsenic) can become concentrated in mushrooms via bio sorption, and can be extracted and then recycled by companies specializing in metallurgy. A less invasive technique is to plant the mushrooms at precise proportions under plants and trees, facilitating a process of break down and absorption of the metals at levels deemed safe.
Mycoremediation presents a benign, inexpensive, and sustainable solution that people can implement in their own neighborhoods with minimal work.
Without having to wait for a government or a corporation to take action, individuals may gain agency with this method.
Anya Pozdeeva 646 841 3490
Christopher Toole 914 885 4814