Feb 13, 2012Science and Technology
Bioremediation technology for oil-damaged wetland restoration

Thomas Azwell, a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, has a bioremediation technology solution to expedite wetland recovery. Conventional hand-planting of marsh plants used in restoration efforts is inefficient; a recent UC Berkeley study found that wetlands labeled "restored" do not function similar to original marshes. Pre-composted sugar cane fiber (bagasse) stuffed into mesh networks of cotton tubes, on the other hand, provides a sustainable, effective potting buffer for the root masses of larger native marsh plant varieties, giving them a better chance at returning oil-damaged wetlands back to viability. Thomaz Azwell says, “There are 3 million tons of this piling up behind sugar cane factories each year, and there’s currently no market for it.”

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