Monday, June 21, 2010

Oysters: Environmental Pearls

Hello everyone,
My name is Kristie DeLouise and I am a Junior at Parsons School of Design. This will be my first blog post talking about the eco-initiative here at American and International Designs Inc. Many of my posts will likely involve my passions, travel, scuba, the ocean and the delicate life that inhabits it.

In these drastic times of oceanic destruction, pollution from the recent BP oil spill, to the long term dumping of hazardous chemicals and wastes among many other problems, the world must come together to find a solution to save our clean water supply and valuable marine life. This is not only to save the seas, it is to ease our sick "Gaya" which of course includes our human race. Many solutions have been proposed and implemented, but we still see many remaining issues and even more arising each and every day.

A new idea for inspiration in the design field has arisen: bio-mimicry, looking to and studying nature for solutions that have allowed the world to regulate itself since the earths beginning.
Oysters are often associated strictly with the raw edible treat which people have been indulging in for centuries and the beautiful pearl that is often housed in its center. However, they also pose as a bio-mimic solution to aid in the filtration and cleansing of polluted waters. Hardly anyone knows that a single oyster can filter up to fifty gallons of polluted water a day, but this new movement has spurred scientist and designers to come together to produce oyster gardens, reefs housing hundreds of oysters in the water from the time that they were spawned.

Reefs are often suspended in the Bentic habitat, in netted bags, designed for the best water flow. Governors Island in New York City is now the home of an upcoming solar powered reef to ease the pollution of the east river. Solar One and Cornell's Marine Lab are also a large contributors to the oyster restoration process. Parsons School of Design is also jumping on board and creating their own reef and educating students on the benefits of using the local Crassostrea Virginica species for water filtration.

Crassostrea Virginica is the strongest species for New York waters but do not produce pearls and cannot be eaten after living in our polluted waters as they may contain hazardous chemicals and diseases such as MSX. However they exist as their own gem with the special ability to aid in our oceanic restoration.

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