"Soil Saviors: Using Plants to Pull Pollutants out of Our Land" & “Painting on Water”

Updated: Feb 27

January 28th, 2020 at Rutledge Cab Co., Charleston, SC

with Dr. Florence Anoruo, Plant and Environmental Biologist, South Carolina State University AND Marielena Martinez, local artist and STEAM educator


Long after an industrial plant has closed its doors, the surrounding lands bear its mark through the presence of heavy metals and other hazardous chemicals. Did you know heavy metals are a serious problem in much of the soils in North Charleston and the upper peninsula? The Environmental Protection Agency refers to these properties as brownfields, and there are 10 listed Federal Brownfield sites in Charleston County alone. Dr. Florence Anoruo, Plant Physiologist and Environmental Biologist, South Carolina State University, and Visiting Scientist, Department of Energy (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY, researches the use of plants to remove heavy metals from contaminated soils. Catch her fresh on her return from COP25 UN Climate Change Conference and global environmental justice discussions. Join us to find out what plants may help clean up our own backyards. And Marielena Martinez will introduce us to the magical art of Ebru, floating paints in water and wicking our pictures out onto paper. Let’s hope we can find the right plants to wick out soil pollution as easily.

We are excited to also have Conservation Voters of South Carolina joining us. CVSC fights for our air, water, land, and energy through political action. They are bipartisan, pragmatic and effective, working to hold South Carolina legislators accountable for their conservation votes and actions. They will share about their current campaigns to keep chemicals out of our environment.

And more exciting news - Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) will be joining to share what this awesome North Charleston community alliance is all about. As part of Charleston Community Research to Action Board (CCRAB), LAMC used citizen science and research institute collaborations to conduct soil sampling and GIS mapping to measure dangerous chemicals in North Charleston neighborhoods. They are now taking a similar approach to address air pollution as well.


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