Ocean Blue Project Research
Natural Environment Protectors
Beyond cleaning up beaches and river banks, there are natural ways to purify and preserve our waters and ecosystems.
Bioswales Filter Polluted Water
Bioswales are channels that convey surface runoff water while filtering pollution. They consist of a marshy runoff course, gently sloped sides, and are filled with plants, compost and, in some cases, rocks. The longer the water spends in the swale, the more pollution can be trapped and filtered out. One of the most common locations for a bioswale is next to a parking lot, which collects pollution from cars. Rainwater flushes the impurities into a bioswale, which then filters the water and releases the cleansed water into the storm drain system or a local waterway.
Rain gardens for your viewing pleasure. Being aesthetically attractive is one of the many great reasons for rain gardens but the main functions are their impact on our living environment! Rain gardens are vegetated depressions that catch rain runoff from impervious areas such as roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and even some compacted lawn areas. e rain runoff is captured in the gardens and allowed to soak into the soil. is prevents surges of rain water from flowing into storm drains or local streams which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished ground water. Essential purpose of a rain garden is to improve the water quality in nearby bodies of water.
Bioretention cells and bioswales are treatment devices for stormwater, which generally occur in public spaces. They infiltrate stormwater but this is not their primary purpose. Moisture levels fluctuate widely in these features, since the flow of water they receive is concentrated, sometimes up to 40 times what a given area would receive naturally.
With tight clay subsoils in our region, these features normally include a subdrain system that ultimately ties to the storm sewer system. Water passes through the soil where physical, chemical and biological processes break down, filter, or hold contaminants. Water that reaches
Ocean Blue Project used fungi in Corvallis, Oregon, to clean local waters. Volunteers placed burlap bags containing mushrooms spawn, coffee grounds and straw in locations where they would filter water before it entered storm drains. Fungi’s mycelium naturally filters out toxins, including pesticides, bacteria and oil. Today, we are working with scientist Ken Cullings on a fungi research project, studying the genetics of fungi placed in a catchment holding pond.
The Power of Mangroves
Mangroves are tropical trees that thrive in most conditions no other tree can. Mangroves can tolerate salty waters and flooding, large waves or water flow during high and low tides. They serve the environment in many ways, including storing large amounts of carbon, and are vital to protecting our oceans and the planet. However, plastic pollution is harming mangroves and mangrove swamp animals.
Mangroves are important to humans, animals and the coastline ecosystem. Their deep root systems provide natural infrastructure and protection to nearby populated areas by preventing erosion and absorbing storm surge impacts during extreme weather events. They also trap microplastics and sediments flowing downriver.
There are myriad threats to mangrove forests, including shrimp farming, tourism, coastal development, and lumber and mining projects. Plus, plastic and other trash can easily get caught in the tree’s thick roots. Donate ten dollars or more to help replace mangroves that have been destroyed by wildfires, plastic pollution or hurricanes.
- sponges worms
- small fish live around the roots
- Mangroves water contain crabs
- juvenile snappers
- red drums
- sea trout
- sea bass
- sea bass
- wildlife birds.