WORKSHOPS/ Earth Repair! Ecological Restoration & Bio-Remediation to Heal the Planet with Leila Darwish 9:30-12:30pm and Tom Duncan 1:30 - 4:30pm
Millions of acres of land and water have been contaminated by pesticides, improperly handled chemicals, dirty energy projects, toxic waste, and other pollutants in the United States and Canada. Technology has provided humans with an unparalleled standard of living, but in the process has left a severely degraded and contaminated environment in need of recovery. With the health of the land, waterways, oceans, and human health at risk, how do we navigate out of these toxic times, both the past legacy, and what we have coming in the future for everyone and especially vulnerable communities.
Leila Darwish-Bioremedition 101: Empowering Communities to Deal with the Legacy of our toxic world
Bioremediation 101: Empowering Communities to Deal with the Legacy of our Toxic World:
From supporting communities recovering from environmental disasters such as oil spills, to transforming urban lots to grow healthy local and accessible food, how can we work with the power of living systems to bring healing and regeneration to the sometimes toxic and often damaged lands and waters that sustain us?
This workshop is an introduction to the wild and regenerative world of bioremediation, diving into both toxic realities and radical remedies. It will explore ways to work with the many micro-organisms, fungi, and plants that are some of the planets finest and oldest disaster responders, alchemists, and healers.
The workshop will cover the how to's for microbial remediation (bacteria), phytoremediation (plants) and mycoremediation (fungi). It will also share important self-care practices (both herbal supports and protective gear) for earth repair practitioners working and living in contaminated environments. Finally, we will brainstorm ways to use bioremediation rooted in earth care and solid community organizing to support frontline communities responding to natural and environmental disasters, from the aftermath of wildfires to oil spills.
Leila Darwish is a community organizer, author, bioremediation educator, permaculture designer, and disaster recovery worker with a deep commitment to providing accessible and transformative tools for communities dealing with the toxic contamination of their lands and waters, and responding to natural and environmental disasters.
Her work is rooted in environmental and social justice, inspired by the power of community action and regenerative earth repair. Leila published her first book “Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes” in 2013, and has taught numerous bioremediation and oil spill response courses in communities across North America.
She has a Master’s of Disaster Resilience Leadership from Tulane University in New Orleans.
Tom Duncan- Restoring Our Waterways with Floating Wetlands & Island Bioremediation Technologies: 1:30 - 4:30pm
What are manmade floating wetlands and islands used for? How are they constructed, and with what materials? Are they good for both small scale home and urban gardens, and large scale farming? What developments are taking place around the world with floating island and wetlands technologies? Can we bio-mimic nature’s wetlands to effectively clean up our environment?
Join Tom Duncan, founder of AquaBiofilterTM Floating Wetlands & Island technology, as he shares his years of experience and expertise designing wetlands systems large and small, for cleaning up toxicity, growing food, and providing enhanced wildlife habitat both above and below the waterline.
We will explore case studies, technology, and share ideas on wetland project implementation in catchments. An amazing opportunity to learn from one of the most experienced people in the field, please bring your questions!
Since 2000 Tom Duncan has been building aquaponics systems in small and large scale aquaculture systems across Australia and China. His projects include the largest aquaponics systems in the world, covering in some cases, many acres of aquaculture pond and lake with edible plants. In 2004 Duncan and a team of scientists demonstrated that polluted lakes across Asia could be completely restored, while also preventing future toxic algal blooms.
Tom Duncan invented the AquaBiofilterTM Floating Wetlands & Island technology to clean up polluted lakes, water bodies, rivers and estuaries. Tom proved in the field and through quantitative modeling, that dedicating just 1% of farm and urban catchments to floating wetland ponds, would eliminate toxic algae blooms in lakes, rivers and estuaries. This protects the marine waters, gulfs and bays that receive run-off. Floating wetlands remove nutrients, suspended solids and pollutants, mopping up impurities and releasing clean water to rivers and oceans. Duncan served as Chairman of the Green Building Council of Australia for two years, developing the new Green Building Rating Tool.
In addition to AquaBiofilterTM Tom is also the founder of Liquid Token, a fintech platform for impact assets and natural capital. He has experience across sectors including environmental technology and large scale restoration, investment and finance, technology and policy. Learn more about Tom Duncan’s work and projects: