News & Blog PRESS Press 2016

Newtown Creek Revival

Greenpoint Fart Factory
By Peter Fend for the program Art & Activism Part II by
Coleen Fitzgibbon and Peter Fend
Probably the name was De Nieuwe Tuin Kreek, in Dutch.
The region was De Nieuwe Tuin, meaning “the new garden.” The rather wide stream was called “Kreek,” with its many “Kills,” or smaller streams. This stream was not a river. The whole basin of Nieuwe Tuin was probably a good source of healthful food for the Dutch settlers. Nothing like this occurs now. The basin is full of contaminants.
Throughout, the Creek has some salinity. The salinity fluctuates. Generally, it’s around 20/000; after heavy rains, as in our trip there yesterday, it falls to 12/000, even less near the ends of the Kills.
To revive the Creek, we use a technique developed under the name of Ocean Earth by Catherine Griffiths, Peter Fend, scientist Stephen Hughes, naval architect Marc Lombard and various colleagues in New Zealand, called “ORGANIC DREDGING.” Like the name of the company, the Creek is an interface between dry land and sea, between “earth” and “ocean.” The first successful test of organic dredging, or uptake of nutrients in seaweed, was in the Exe Estuary, in 2001. We produced methane gas consistently.
Materials on land flow into the water, especially after storms. These materials could fill up a channel, or creek, over time. The runoff from a colossal City like NY is huge. So, is much to dredge. The sea rushes in, from the East River tidal-strait, but not enough to wear away accumulations of sediment. Introduce plants that can absorb the accumulation from runoffs. Then harvest those plants, frequently. The sequence achieves the results of dredging—-with plants.
The plants would be a species of Laminaria that can tolerate fluctuations in salinity between 25 and 10 per thousand. If that’s not possible, we find another type of marine algae, perhaps Fucus. Ideally, a variety of species are used.
Short fronds of the species are tied at junctures of on rope nets, probably at 20-30 cm intervals. The nets could be 4 m x 4. They line the shore, the margins of the Creek. They are tethered to the shore, to avoid disturbing the bottom. They are placed especially at CSO outfalls. They can be moved around.
All servicing of the nets of marine algae with brackish-water tolerance is done with muscle-propelled boats. Versions of racing sculls are proposed. If not, versions of canoes. They would be outfitted with cutting blades. For stability, they are bound together with superstructures to become catamaran. These boars, with various equipment added, are used in four ways: to patrol the nets along the margins of the Creek; to cut, possibly with catamaran-mounted blades, any growth of plants extending downward from the nets; to move the nets around, particularly to CSO outfall sites after storms; to haul any harvest in sack-nets. All these technologies have been proven. for example, hauling harvested seaweed in a sack-net in the water is standard practice in western Ireland. Catamarans for dealing with water-clogging plants is standard practice in reservoirs in New Zealand. The cutting of plants, and the moving of nets holding plants, has been tested in Teesport, UK. We would set up such a growth and harvest practice throughout the Creek. We could start with a small bay, such as the No-Name Inlet near the NYC DEP sewage treatment plant.
All hauled plants are brought promptly to a shoreline site for maceration and fermentation. The maceration can be done with mallets by people. The fermentation can be done in brewery-sized fermentation tanks, with cowdung and some land-plant roughage added to facilitate the two stages in gas production; acidification, methanization. In the trip yesterday, Feb 27, we learned of a site next to the current NYC DEP waste treatment, which is still owned by the DEP, or some NYC agency, and could house the equipment for this work. Another host site could be National Grid, or even one of the hydrocarbon companies, as they have the space and much of the know-how. Electricity may be easier to produce, as the biogas is mixed.
Prior to the trip of Feb 27, it had been supposed, based on common news reports, that the oil seeping from the tank farm sites, owned by oil companies, was a serious problem today in Newtown Creek. Accordingly, we thought of ways to allow microorganisms to feed on the oil, converting it into what the oil-industry itself (BP, ENI) has pioneered as “single-cell protein,” or unicellular organisms grown on hydrocarbons. We learned, however, that the oil companies are working hard to prevent any leakage from reaching Newtown Creek. They are recovering leaking oil and doing what they deem best with it, with may well be its being refined again into marketable fossil fuel. They likely will not want to grow “single-cell proteins” on the oil; we can propose that as an option they already know. This proposal can be offered this week to entities with whom we, either Ocean Earth or TVGOV (a 60%-owned adjunct to Ocean Earth), are already talking, or have published.
Buckminster Fuller Institute dMASSS, their advisor on our eco-tax proposal Greenwaves, the BFI prizewinner to whom we are referred, in the Northeast Natural Resources Defense Council, which published a proposal based on our Exe-mouth work
Given what’s on deck with dMASS and BFI, we could expand any Newtown Creek project to include a satellite-based survey of property in the entire watershed, towards identifying who pays a charge according to pollution at site, particularly as it affects the one thing comment to the basin, the Creek.
For Ocean Earth Development Corporation, stakeholders of which are Peter Fend (NY), Kevin Gannon (Pittsburgh), Catherine Griffiths (LA, with in-water experience in UK and China), Heidi Mardon (NZ) and Eve Vaterlaus (NY, with much in-water experience in NZ). The eco-tax proposal, for assessing charges for basin management, was given to BFI, with interest now from dMASS, by TELEVISION GOVERNMENT, or TVGOV, 60% held by Ocean Earth, and including Sofia Bastidas, Nicole Doran, Peter Fend, Guillermo Leon Gomez and Agustina Woodgate. The group is based in Miami.
Peter Fend, working with Coleen Fitzgibbon, a founding shareholder of, and first-project TV-new collaborator with, Ocean Earth.
We intend to exhibit this project in a videotape during the Armory Show and the Greenpoint Film Festival, both in NY.
Any exhibition is aimed at raising the money to DO THE WORK.
This compels hiring teams of collaborating and innovating rowers, net-makers, cutters, macerators, fermenters and even electricity producers, many of them people with no profession yet.

Feb 28, 2016 Fend