Please support this citizen-science effort by donating on the crowd funding page linked in the article below.
Sandersville, GA – -(Ammoland.com)- All nations' citizen-scientists will be encouraged by a poster to be presented by outdoor writer and Professional Geologist, Wm. Hovey Smith at the Coastal Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration Conference (CEER, 2014) on July 28-August 1 2014 to develop projects using inert wastes to make flexible offshore barriers to protect wetlands and coastal cities.
Smith, who is the black-powder editor for the Gun Digest Annual and whose writings occasionally appear in Ammoland Shooting Sports News, is also a geologist with a strong interest in the preservation of Gulf Coast and other wetlands. These wetlands are being lost at an alarming rate due to coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Low cost offshore barriers that can be made of locally available materials are needed to promote colonization of oysters and other species, form quiet areas where natural vegetation can root and trap sediment.
This poster will present, as an attention-grabbing example, sand-filled Rum bottles that are produced by Louisiana Spirits.
“Not only are these bottles interesting because of their irregular shapes and embossed designs, they have an obvious tie-in with a conference that will be held in New Orleans and represent one of the state's indigenous products made of locally grown sugar cane,” Smith said.
The poster to be presented at this scientific conference will initiate a world-crowd-citizen-science investigation to discover novel ways to use low costs inert waste materials to help prevent coastal erosion and reduce damage to low-lying areas caused by storm surges. Using local waste materials, any interested person or group could place small study projects to determine what approaches might be most useful to emplace interlinked flexible barrier structures in their home areas. These results would be reported to a centralized database, compiled and made available to researches and governmental organizations worldwide.
Not all science needs to be done by University grads, and it is entirely possible that some breakthrough science and engineering on lower cost flexible storm barriers will result from this effort. These barriers would have the advantage that they would be strengthened in time by the growth of oysters, vegetation and other organisms while also serving as sediment traps. Once established, fish would be attracted to these structures.
Such investigations would be ideal for school science projects as they teach much about materials science, engineering, hydrology, sediment transport, faunal succession, coastal biology, scientific measurement, scientific reporting, etc.; while actually doing important work. On any scientific project, the initial data acquisition is the most labor intensive and costly part of an investigation. By centrally accumulating this important store of knowledge from a wide number of environmental sources, the most promising paths can be identified for larger-scale tests by governmental organizations and nation states.
Smith has a Kickstarter project (http://tiny.cc/vjshfx) to raise $2,800 prior to the donation period ending on May 31 to allow him to present his poster at the conference. Funds raised will be used to pay six days of conference fees, lodging, design of standardized reporting forms, designing the initial database, production of a quarterly newsletter and protecting the project's intellectual property and name. No credit cards will be billed unless the project is fully funded.
His project may be seen at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hoveysmith/citizen-science-wetlands-restoration-project .