Friday, October 22, 2010

DIY Water Cleanup!

Some people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the levels of pollution in their local waterways. Some are also becoming increasingly disenchanted with the government's dawdling approach to cleanup. Fed up with bureaucratic delays and stagnancy, many are now turning to the DIY remediation movement.

In New York, the Gowanus Canal is often refered to as the "loveliest toxic waterway" (The Earth Institute, Columbia University), polluted heavily with PCBs, pesticides and metals, among other contaminants. Disappointed with the EPA's tardy response to the situation, a local group of environmentalists decided to take action for themselves. Their efforts resulted in Jerko, "a refurbished houseboat, renovated with salvaged materials and fitted with a floating wetland" (The Earth Institute, Columbia University). The boat travels along the polluted canal, showing "how water can be cleaned through relatively inexpensive but surprisingly effective techniques of biological filtration through artificial wetlands. More importantly, it shows how citizens can take the health of their environment into their own hands without waiting for large-scale institutional action" (The Earth Institute, Columbia University).

Click here to read more about this awesome project.


  1. I wonder how they actually go about their "biological filtration" and how effective it really is. Anyways, it looks fun.

  2. It seems like they're subjecting themselves to an awfully toxic environment. I hope they don't all get sick from the canal!

  3. This is awesome. I hope this is the new wave of entrepreneurship among the youngest generations. We're less interested in making 6 digits and owning a mansion; instead, we want to make a difference and improve the world.