Oct31

Mimicking the Salt Marsh for #ResilientCities

Dr. Anamarija Frankic

By Dr. Anamarija Frankic

In response to growing coastal challenges, including habitat degradation, loss of biodiversity, and climate change, efforts around the country and the world are increasingly embracing strategies and initiatives focused on promoting environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

The most significant impediment to sustaining our coastal natural and human built systems, and the goods and services they provide, is not a lack of technical knowledge but the need for all stakeholders to understand whole systems-level intricacies that true conservation, restoration and adaptation work requires.

Eastern oysters cleaning up to 50 gallons of water per day.

Eastern oysters clean up to 50 gallons of water per day.

 

My work is based on a biomimicry approach in addressing coastal issues. Natural coastal systems and local keystone species like oysters, and habitats such as shellfish beds, salt marshes and eelgrasses work together to stabilize our coasts, sediments, filter water of nutrients and pollutants, providing conditions conducive to life, which are resilient and adaptive to environmental changes.

Observing and learning from coastal systems leads naturally into a discussion on how to apply this wisdom in our human built environment.

The Design Charette I am teaching in November with BiomimicryNYC will explore ideas such as,

How can urban harbors accrete sediment and stop erosion like the salt marsh;

while improving water quality like the oyster reef;

and creating a habitat for other species like eel grass beds?

I’m looking forward to teaching and working with designers, engineers, architects and social entrepreneurs in this region, and excited to see what innovative ideas our teams produce.

If you’re interested in joining our Design Charette on November 17, 2014, please visit this page for more information.

(Frankic et al. 2011).

Oct28

Biomimicry + Urban Green Harbors Workshop

Urban Green Harbors and LivingLabs Logo

Urban Green Harbors Design Charette

How can urban harbors accrete sediment and stop erosion like the salt marsh;

while improving water quality like the oyster reef

and creating a habitat for other species like eel grass beds?

Two years since Superstorm Sandy, the world is a different place. Everyone is talking about “resilient coastal cities”, but what does that really mean? What can we learn from inherently sustainable and resilient natural systems? And how can we apply nature’s adaptive strategies to our urban harbors?

THE CHALLENGE 
How would nature design resilient breakwaters, supporting human and ecological services and functions?

OBJECTIVES 
Introduction to the science, philosophy and practice of Biomimicry and the 6 Biomimicry Principles.

PRACTICAL EXERCISE 
Design charrette of a local breakwater on Governor’s Island. Work with an interdisciplinary team of designers, biologists, architects, engineers and planners. Final designs will be presented to the NY Harbor School

WHEN     Monday, November 17th from 10AM to 5PM

WHERE   Pershing Hall, Governor’s Island – the Ferry leaves from the Battery Maritime Building (the historic green building to the left of the glass Staten Island Ferry bldg) promptly at 10 AM. Address: 10 South St, New York, NY 10004

COST      $60 per person, $40 for first 10 registrants, 2 student scholarships currently available

RSVP

LEAD INSTRUCTOR : DR. ANAMARIJA FRANKIC

Dr. Anamarija FrankicDr. Frankic is founder and director of the Green Harbors Project®. She is a Biomimicry Educational Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Zadar. Her background in biology, ecology, limnology and marine science guide her interdisciplinary work in coastal and watershed ecosystem stewardship and restoration. Anamarija founded the LivingLabs® program where students and local communities can ‘learn and teach by doing’ biomimicry, applying nature’s wisdom to be healthy, wealthy and resilient.

ABOUT THE DESIGN CHARETTE 
Each participant will be assigned to a diverse 5 person team, based on your background and experience. Volunteers from BiomimicryNYC and Biomimicry New England will be assigned to each team in order to provide guidance through the research phase and biomimicry design process.

WORKSHOP PARTNER : THE NY HARBOR SCHOOL 
Located in the heart of New York Harbor, Harbor School’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory education built upon New York City’s maritime experience that instills in students the ethics of environmental stewardship and the skills associated with careers on the water.

Inquiries

Student scholarship applicants, please contact adiel@biomimicrynyc.com 

If you are interested in being a Community Partner or Event Sponsor, please contact Adiel Gavish adiel@biomimicrynyc.com.

Community Partner and Sponsor Packet_BiomimicryNYC_Urban Green Harbors

(more…)

Oct27

The Wisdom of Ancient Grains

Our most popular Tweet from the Omega Institute conference this weekend was a quote from Winona LaDuke, an American Indian activist, environmentalist and writer, “The corn they are making now isn’t intelligent. They’ve stripped away it’s innate wisdom, cultivated over hundreds of years. Corn made with chemicals is dumb. My corn is intelligent, it has spirit.”

She and Vandana Shiva both discussed the embedded wisdom found in the soil and seeds of corn and rice and how that wisdom is lost through genetic manipulation. Seeds that have undergone genetic engineering are deprived the ability to evolve, and therefore become resilent in conjunction with the ecosystem of which it is an integral part.

Vandana

Vandana explained that “seed freedom is the freedom of seeds to evolve.” That without evolution, no seed can become resilient to changing environmental conditions. And that when you work with evolution, you protect diversity. She encouraged farmers to work towards embedding health per acre, as opposed to other shorter term economic goals.

“The world is a brilliant flow of evolutionary potential.” ~ Vandana Shiva

Both speakers were awe inspiring, as they shared their stories of perseverance and grassroots advocacy. We encourage you to visit the Omega website and listen to their stories (video link to come).

Oct18

Visionary Story Tellers Come Together

Voices of Hope Conference

WHAT Voices of Hope in a Time of Crisis

WHEN November 8, 2014, 10am to 6pm

WHERE The Great Hall, Cooper Union

DESCRIPTION BiomimicryNYC is pleased to be a partner organization, helping to promote this one-day event that will bring together visionary thinkers and activists— from the fields of economics, environmental justice, local business, farming, art, story-telling, spirituality, development, and politics—for a day of thought-provoking and constructive talks on our multiple crises and how we can solve them.

The event will also include the launch of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL), a new global network to connect the growing number of individuals and organizations dedicated to exploring localized approaches to today’s ecological, social, and economic problems.

Speakers include Chris Hedges, Laura Flanders, Charles Eisenstein, Helena Norberg-Hodge and more. For a full list of speakers and topics visit their website.

Tickets start at just $15.