Blue Beyond Borders

I arrived in New York last weekend to explore potential projects on the east coast. Already, I’ve connected with the ocean and river people to discuss work post-hurricane Sandy, pre-washaway city.  Biorock is readily applied to oysters, mussels, and seagrasses to develop natural permeable breakwaters a la oyster reefs of yore, those bastions of resource and health as depicted in An Oyster in the Storm, by Paul Greenberg.  With such a loss of oysters – providers of shore protection and toxic filtration – innovative methods need to be implemented and advanced, while destructive actions need to be reduced or halted altogether.  At the International Conference on Shellfish Restoration in Mystic, Connecticut, this past December, the Global Coral Reef Alliance and their partners presented their results “Electrical Current Greatly Improves Oyster and Saltmarsh Growth and Survival.”  

The New York Harbor School, Rocking the Boat, and many other organizations are working to grow their hands-on river restoration education programs. In a city recently flooded, it’s a priority to involve the entire population in addressing sea level rise, increased storms, pollution and restoration in a way that is not only functional, but has meaning and inspires creative discovery.

Ready to Slurp by Claudia Weddell (Basenisa on Flickr)
Blue Beyond Borders is producing I Heart Blue- an ocean love affair to raise awareness and funds for the Marine Environmental Research Institute, “a leading organization in the ocean community dedicated to protecting ocean life and human health through research, outreach, and advocacy. Founded by Dr. Susan Shaw, a pioneering marine toxicologist, explorer, and ocean advocate, the Institute is at the forefront of understanding the rising pollution in the world’s oceans and engaging the public and policymakers in innovative solutions to end the flow of contaminants into the sea.”
Please check out this link to learn about the renowned presenters, panelists, performers, artists, and organizations creating this immersive multimedia, zero-carbon event. It happens tomorrow from 7-10 PM in New York!



Living Cities

The growth of Biorock mineral accretion sculptures in the ocean conjures up images of cities; not only are architects fascinated by the building potential of culling limestone minerals from seawater to create incredible evolving formations, but anyone thinking about habitats of all kinds imagine how they will accumulate life and generate tributaries of interaction.  Coral cities, urban landscapes, seascapes…whether visible or invisible, the concept of efficiency, necessity and organic mystery can come together in a city.

This living wall in de zeen magazine about “biological concrete” is an example of how biological growth is becoming an integral part of contemporary buildings. Ecology is fundamental in the design.

Living walls
New concrete that captures rainwater to create living walls of moss and fungi

 “The material lends itself to a new concept of vertical garden, not only for newly built constructions, but also for the renovation of existing buildings. Unlike the current vegetated façade and vertical garden systems, the new material supports biological growth on its own surface; therefore, complex supporting structures are not required, and it is possible to choose the area of the façade to which the biological growth is to be applied.”

The carbon sequestering, living adornments may soon flourish, bringing nature and urban together for you to pause at the emerald and chartreuse skyscrapers on a busy street.

Addendum – A New York Times article, The Beauty of Bacteria, by Julie Lasky on January 16th, takes us even further towards the vital and fantastical Emerald City.