Fungal Remediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
- Fresh Water Studies; Life Sciences; Marine Biology; Natural Resources and Conservation
The Olympia Mycelial Network (OMN) is an all-volunteer group working to share knowledge and skills related to the use of fungi for increasing personal and environmental health. We seek to de-stigmatize and simplify mushroom cultivation to create greater access for all people to the benefits of edible, medicinal, and remediative mushrooms. Our outreach focuses on small-scale, low-cost, home or community-scale cultivation; community engagement via free/inexpensive workshops and community mushroom installations; creating medicinal mushroom products; and working to implement local remediation projects to remediate polluted areas. The OMN is non-discriminatory, open to people of all backgrounds and levels of engagement with fungi. The group has been operating for over three years. In that time we have been collaborating with business owners, coops, and collectives around town to facilitate our workshops to further our goals. With the right resources we would team up with more local business owners and set up filtrations systems that filter contaminated run off from parking lots and roads. We would use a control at each site and bioassays to back up the work. From these sites we would collect the toxic material to build off-site designs to perfect methods of stabilizing and rehabilitating soil with fungi and bacteria. There are several species of fungi that are well known for their ability to degrade PAH's, herbicides, petroleum products, and organophosphates among many other common pollutants. With funding we would do Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon testing, and testing to target contaminants with specific species of fungi. With this data we would help other cities get the stats and funding they need to also implement similar systems. All of these experiments and their conclusions would be publicly accessible. This project would bring attention to waste water pollution while empowering individuals and business owners to be proactive about their ecological impact.