BioHavens and Climate Change
The United States leadership is trapped in a do-nothing climate change response. Today’s teeter-totter leans slightly to the right. Political tensions prevent any kind of serious third party, a green party perhaps, from developing. In the meantime, our planet continues to slip down what is probably an irreversible precipice. What can we do? Are there meaningful climate-change actions we as water stewards can undertake?
We think there are. In 2011 Floating Island International completed an in-house, short term study. We weighed a 25-square foot BioHaven, then planted and launched it on a waterway here in Shepherd, where it was exposed to nutrient surges. During the growing season the island was removed, and again dried and weighed. Its weight had increased by 72%, mostly in the form of organic biomass. The island was on track to double its weight by the end of the season.
It was not alone. Today there are over 8,000 other BioHavens doing the same thing all over the world – capturing and sequestering carbon. From what we can see, many BioHavens are even exceeding the 72% weight gain.
What does this mean? Can we employ nature to assist in cycling greenhouse gas from nutrient-rich water? Can we prevent carbon dioxide and methane, and even nitrous oxide, from cycling into earth’s atmosphere? If so, how?
Water Resource Recovery may be the key. Islands that pay for themselves, that generate revenue and provide a real return on investment, are far more palatable to a community’s water stewardship program than forced compliance. My sense is that biomimicry must go commercial! And frankly, going commercial makes a lot of sense. It means larger island archipelagos that tie up more carbon. And interestingly, water quality enhancement becomes a byproduct. In other words, water quality is incidental to the commercial value of islands!
There is a huge question here. Do we have the financial resources to prove this out? Can Floating Island International do this on its own?
I am a founder of FII, and I’m motivated. But at the same time, my resources are constrained. Are there others out there interested in answering these questions and coming to the party?