#37: More Wetlands In Space!!! 11th Hour Interview

 In BioSettler, space, Space/ZeroG

#37: More Wetlands In Space!!!  11th Hour Interview

Doug:  You sent us a little note saying that you were going to be doing this presentation at the Altoona Public Library over a couple of weeks.  “Wetlands In Space!!”.  And I’m thinking, I know what wetlands are, I’ve been to them. I’ve never been to space, despite what some people may think. What exactly are you talking about.  And, what are people going to hear when they come out to the library?

Colin: Well first, thanks Doug for having me on, appreciate your time and chance to plug the public library.  Shout out to Jen Knisely, director there.  So, wetlands are responsible for the largest amount of remediation in the world.  One of the reason we have as much pollution making it to the ocean as we do is because we have wiped out a lot of our own wetlands.  Now, what we do is we build wetlands in box for coal mining companies.

Doug: And when you say we, you’re something called EcoIslands LLC, based in Altoona?
Colin: Yup.  based right here in Altoona.  We are going with several branding names.  If its working for mining companies, its BioMining Products.  If we are working with agriculture, its PermaCycler. And if we are working with space exploration, its BioSettler.  So, going back a little to the wetlands, wetlands do something called natural attenuation, and they are capable of removing pollutants.  You could have a big flow with all sorts of contaminants, like in acid mine drainage, pharmaceuticals in hospital wastes, there are all sorts of pollutions.  And a wetland will sort that material out and remediate to forms that aren’t toxic, basically. When I say remediation, that is when things become non-toxic through biological processes.
Doug: Well, wetlands may be designed to do that, however, we’ve found, I’m sure, more than a few ways, for lack of a better term, to mess it up with what human beings can come up with.
I mean, there is a little bit of a difference between your back yard and the lawn chemicals you put down over the years to make it greener and a major mining operation.

(For more on Wetlands in Space!!! check out BioSettlers Mars Society 22nd International Conference Presentation for a deep dive into Martian Wetlands.)

Colin:  You’ve been talking to Tom Ford.  Quite so, quite so. In a major mining operation, some of the things you’ve got to worry about are iron, aluminum, and manganese and of course a lot of acid going into the local waterways.  Now normally natural attenuation, wetland processes, would take care of all of those pollutant loads.  But its going to take ten fifteen, twenty miles of stream bed to be able to take care of all those different pollutant loads.  DEP, EPA, and even the local conservation district here, the Blair County Conservation District, they build synthetic wetlands, or wetland embodiments which are, in a lot of cases, big holes with spent mushroom compost or other amendments like limestone.
And that will accelerate the process by providing the things that are required, say, alkalinity, to buffer the pH to get all of those metals to come out in a much smaller area. Then keeping all of the pollution to one spot before it goes down river.
Doug: You were talking about building wetlands in a box on some of your website, and we’ll put a link to that on our facebook page as well…

Keep listening to find out how natural attenuation can be used in space and Earth to keep settlers (and Earthlings) alive and healthy by providing clean water, soil, and atmosphere with Wetlands in Space!!!

Cheers! Colin

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