"The New York Department of Environmental Protection installed a prototype "algal turf scrubber" at once of its wastewater treatment plants in Queens. The scrubber--two 350-foot metal ramps coated with algae that grows naturally--is designed to use algae to remove nutrients and boost dissolved oxygen in the water that passes through it. John McLaughlin, Director of Ecological Services for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Peter May, restoration ecologist for Biohabitats, explain how the scrubber works, and where the harvested algae goes."
You know you want to know!
First, check out the Household Flux Calculator, and discover your flux score. With your curiosity piqued, keep going and find out how your household activities influence the cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Although households are known to influence the energy budgets of cities and countries, few studies have looked at their contribution to environmental pollution. The University's Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project involves a survey of 3,100 urban and suburban households in Ramsey and Anoka counties and their household emissions. The study centers on a range of behaviors, including household energy use, food choices, vehicle use, air travel habits, pet ownership and lawn care practices. University scientists Lawrence Baker, Sarah Hobbie and Kristen Nelson will discuss the surprising results of this groundbreaking research.
And, yes, they'll answer the question, if you ask them nicely.
Households and Urban Pollution
Tuesday, January 18, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Bryant-Lake Bowl, Minneapolis
Cost: $5-$12. Tickets available at the door and online at Bryant-Lake Bowl.
Call 612-825-8949 for reservations.
It gets worse. Just today, the BBC is reporting that scientists think that this year's dead zone could grow to 8,500 sq miles, the biggest ever!
I wonder what the "tipping point" is for this issue? I'm not seriously too worried about the shark attacks. But the environmental impacts of the dead zone are huge. How bad will this have to get before people start talking about the issue of fertilizer run-off around the water cooler? Then again, maybe we can get some positive public action during the upcoming shark week, but I am guessing agricultural practices won't exactly be their focus...alas.
Dead Zone - Great resource on the science behind the Dead Zone from none other than...us, the Science Museum of Minnesota.