Monday, September 22, 2008

Giving Mother Nature a Face Lift

Interesting piece in the NYTimes today about a landscape architecture professor from MIT who is re-engineering a wetland in Terracina, Italy, to filter out pollution.

From the story: "Designing nature might seem to be an oxymoron or an act of hubris. But instead of simply recommending that polluting farms and factories be shut, Professor Berger specializes in creating new ecosystems in severely damaged environments: redirecting water flow, moving hills, building islands and planting new species to absorb pollution, to create natural, though 'artificial,' landscapes that can ultimately sustain themselves."

I have to say, if you get into the second page of the story, there is a description of the water runoff that is just really ew. The professor even said in this case you really needed to know where your food was produced and that he would only eat "from uphill."


Naomi Van Tol said...

Orlando, FL, has been doing this for 20 years... the Orlando Wetlands Park was designed to filter treated sewage ("reclaimed wastewater") which is then used to irrigate orange crops AND is injected back into the aquifer.

It's described better here:

We may all be drinking reclaimed wastewater before long. Yum!

marycash said...

Yeah, yum.

But then I guess all water's already been somewhere.

Naomi Van Tol said...

True, it's all a matter of degrees. The oldest water in the Memphis Sands is 30 to 40 million years old.

Compare that to water that was inside someone else's colon a mere two or three months ago... blurgh.

That's why it's such a damn shame that Memphis industries are allowed to sink private wells and use unlimited amounts of our delicious drinking water for cooling towers and such, and they don't pay a penny for it.