DECEMBER 19, 2007
OILY HAIR MAT AND MUSHROOM LASAGNA ANYONE?
SAN FRANCISCO (December 20, 2007) – A press conference will be held at 12 PM at the Presidio of San Francisco on Friday, December 21, 2007. It will highlight a unique research project testing the use of mushrooms to remediate oil spill pads made from human hair soaked in bunker fuel such as was leaked in the Cusco Busan oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. The press conference will take place at the scenic Presidio compost yard, located off of Lincoln Boulevard just north of Kobbe Avenue.
First, mats made from human hair, invented by hair stylist Phil McCrory of Ottimat.com after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, were used by surfers and concerned citizens to clean up San Francisco’s Ocean Beach in November of 2007. Next, Paul Stamets of Fungi.com donated Oyster mushroom spawn which shoots out millions of roots, clinging to the mesh of oil-soaked hair mats, helping to break down the hydrocarbon bonds in oil to hopefully turn the toxic waste into landscape-grade fertilizer. The natural process is called “mycoremediation.”
All of the actual Cosco Busan oil-soaked hair mats cannot currently be used in this experiment because they are safely contained by the Unified Command Emergency Response Cleanup Contractors. Those hair mats are included in the official 19,000 gallons of recuperated toxic waste now considered to be evidence in the oil spill litigation. Meanwhile, this study has been donated a sample of similar bunker fuel from a helpful East Bay container shipping company, to demonstrate possible green alternatives for the eventual remediation of the Cosco Busan waste oil.
The traditional, approved disposal practice is incineration, but this is pricey and puts particulate matter into the air. However with green win-win studies, not only can we breath deeply, but industry may discover a revenue stream of generating a fertilizer product while reducing their expense of disposal.The Oily-Hair-Mat-Eating Mushroom Project at the Presidio is headed up by Lisa Craig Gautier, founder of Matteroftrust.org, an ecological public charity. “The amazing support and media excitement for this project has been inspiring”. The applications of this organic method has world wide potential for environmental restoration. “People are attracted to it because everyone understands oily hair and can track photos on Matteroftrust.org showing how the remediation research is working away on bunker fuel and used motor oil, a worse polluter of our oceans.” Says Gautier.
A wide range of agencies and organizations have come together to collaborate and advise on this project, including the Presidio Trust, the California Department of Toxic Substances and Control, the San Francisco Departments of the Environment, Emergency Services and Public Health, SF Mycological Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society and The East Bay Depot For Creative Reuse.
Matter Of Trust, established in 1998, is an ecological public charity that concentrates on man-made surplus, natural abundance and eco-education.
Lisa Craig Gautier
President, Matter of Trust