Importance of Natural Resources

Using Concrete to Create Oysters Reefs to Help Clean Our Water Ecosystem


>>Terri Allard: OYSTERS ARE GREAT TO EAT, BUT DID YOU KNOW THEY KEEP OUR WATER IS CLEAN, OUR SHORELINE INTACT, AND PROVIDE HABITAT FOR MANY MARINE SPECIES? UNFORTUNATELY THEY ARE ALSO ENDANGERED. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO VISIT WITH THE LOCAL EDUCATOR AND DESIGNER WHO’S PASSION FOR WORKING WITH CONCRETE INSPIRED HER TO HELP CHANGE THE SITUATION. JOIN US AS WE VISIT WITH EVELYN TICKLE, CREATOR OF GROW OYSTER REEFS, COME ON! SO WE ARE HERE AT YOUR HOME STUDIO BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE IT ALL GOT STARTED. TELL US WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GROW OYSTER REEFS?>>Evelyn Tickle: WELL, I WAS AT A LITTLE BIT OF A TURNING POINT WITH MY LIFE. I HAVE BEEN DOING A LOT OF CONCRETE WORK AS AN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNER AND FABRICATOR MAKING ALL SORTS OF VERY SEXY ACCOUTREMENTS FOR THE HOME SUCH AS BATHTUBS AND FOUNTAINS AND WALL PANELS AND PRETTY MUCH YOU NAME IT A LITTLE BIT OF FURNITURE. I DECIDED I WANT TO DO SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT WITH MY CONCRETE AND I STARTED THINKING ABOUT WHAT THAT WAS BECAUSE I REALLY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THAT WOULD BE. AND I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF OF THE INTENT TO MAKE A SUSTAINABLE CONCRETE.>>Terri Allard: OKAY, BUT THEN HOW DID THAT LEAD YOU TO OYSTERS?>>Evelyn Tickle: WELL, I WAS REALLY INTO AND I AM STILL INTO THIS TYPE OF DESIGNING CALLED BIOMIMICRY, WHAT THAT IS AND WHAT THAT IS IS WHAT YOU LOOK AT AT NATURE, AND YOU SEE HOW NATURE HAS DESIGNED SOMETHINGS LIKE SOME GREAT FLYING ANIMALS. AND SOMETIMES CARS ARE INSPIRED BY THEM, HI-TECH CAR DESIGNS. SO I WAS LIKE, WELL, WHAT DO I KNOW OF OR WHERE CAN I FIND THAT IS NATURAL THAT MAKES SOME SORT OF CONCRETE THAT MIGHT BE SUSTAINABLE? BECAUSE TYPICALLY THINGS IN NATURE ARE SUSTAINABLE, RIGHT? I DIDN’T EXACTLY KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE AN OYSTER HAS A CONCRETE AND MAKES A CONCRETE TO BE ABLE TO BE ABLE TO ATTACH ITSELF TO A SUBSTRATE OR TO A REEF OR TO ANOTHER OYSTER PREFERABLY. SO I WENT HUNTING THIS FORMULA AND I LOOKED AND I LOOKED, AND I DISCOVERED ON THE WAY THIS PLIGHT OF THE OYSTER. THE OYSTER IS A KEYSTONE SPECIES WHICH MEANS IF WE REMOVE IT FROM THE ENVIRONMENT, OUR WORLD WILL BE FOREVER CHANGED. ONE OF ITS MAIN JOBS THAT WE ARE VERY INTERESTED IN IS HOW IT FILTERS THE WATER. LIKE 50 GALLONS OF WATER PER DAY.>>Terri Allard: AND IT’S A HABITAT FOR OTHER ANIMALS SO IT’S IMPORTANT FOR SO MANY DIFFERENT REASONS. SO THEN YOU DECIDED, OKAY, SO I’M GOING TO CREATE — I’M GOING TO CREATE THIS. I’M GOING TO MIMIC AN OYSTER REEF. YOUR SCHOOLING IS IN ARCHITECTURE AND YOU’RE A TEACHER AND YOU ARE DESIGNER, SO HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT DOING THIS?>>Evelyn Tickle: THE FIRST THING THAT I DID — I DID NOT KNOW THAT I WAS GOING TO MAKE A SMALL SIMULATED REEF. I DID DIFFERENT — REALLY VERY — DESIGNED DIFFERENT THINGS, AND FINALLY I KIND OF GOT MY EGO OUT OF THE WAY A LITTLE BIT, AND I LOOKED FURTHER INTO BIOMIMICRY, AND THERE’S A REALLY GOOD GREAT REASON THAT THE OYSTER REEF IS MADE AND IT OR HAS DEVELOPED IN THE WAY THAT IT HAS DEVELOPED, AND THAT’S BECAUSE, DO YOU WANT A LITTLE SCIENCE LESSON HERE?>>Terri Allard: I DO. WE WOULD LIKE A SCIENCE LESSON PLEASE.>>Evelyn Tickle: OKAY, SO HERE’S THE SCIENCE LESSON. SO AN ADULT OYSTER WILL RELEASE ABOUT 1 MILLION EMBRYONIC OYSTERS IN A — TO THE WATER COLUMN, AND SO THIS EMBRYONIC OYSTER MOVES UP THROUGH THE REEF, AND IT FINDS A LITTLE SPOT THAT IT LIKES, AND ATTACHES ON, AND IT STAYS THERE FOR LIFE IT DOESN’T GO ANYWHERE ELSE. IF IT’S ATTACHED TO AN OYSTER SHELL, IT USES THE NUTRIENTS IN THE SHELL. THAT’S THE REASON WHY I MATCHED THE CONCRETE FORMULA THAT I WAS WORKING TOWARDS, AND I DEVELOPED FIRST TOO CLOSELY MATCH THAT OF THE OYSTER ITSELF, AND THAT IN TESTING HAS BEEN REALLY EXCITING.>>Terri Allard: REALLY BECAUSE THE FIRST TIME YOU PUT DOWN OYSTER SHELLS.>>Evelyn Tickle: I STUCK THE OYSTER’S IN A CONCRETE BASE IN A PATTERN.>>Terri Allard: AND THEN YOU PUT IN ONE OF YOUR REEFS, AND YOU WENT BACK LATER, WHAT DID YOU FIND? YOU DESCRIBED IT AS A BOUQUET.>>Evelyn Tickle: IT WAS. IT WAS A BOUQUET THEY WERE ALL SORTS OF THINGS LIVING IN IT, THERE WERE SPONGES, THERE WERE ALL SORTS OF THINGS, THERE WERE A LITTLE FISH THERE WERE LITTLE CRABS, NOT GREEN CRABS, BUT THE GOOD KIND OF CRABS. IT WAS ALREADY A FULLY FORMED THING. IT WAS REALLY BIG. IT WAS LIKE A PUFFBALL THINGS, REALLY. AND THE OTHER ONE WAS JUST KIND OF LIKE OK HERE IT IS.>>Terri Allard: AND SO YOU’VE DISCOVERED SOMETHING THAT REALLY IS KIND OF INCREDIBLE, AND SO NOW YOU’RE SHARING IT, AND YOUR WORKING ON DIFFERENT PROJECTS. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THE GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS THAT WORK FOR THE OYSTERS THERE ARE OTHERS NATURE CONSERVANCY IS THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH THEIR PRIVATE OYSTER FARMS, TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE PROJECTS THAT YOU’RE WORKING ON AND HOW YOU’RE HELPING WITH THESE.>>Evelyn Tickle: I’D LOVE TO. SO THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IN MAINE CONTACTED ME, AND THEY WERE TO DO A REEF WITH ARTIFICIAL SUBSTRATE, AND THEY CHOSE MY PRODUCT, WHICH I HAVE TO SAY! TO GROW OYSTER REEF AND REEF TILE, AND WE PUT 100 OF THEM. AND THEN I GOT TO GO UP THERE AND HELP THE DIVERS UP THERE AND SO THE DIVERS WERE PLACING THEM. IT WAS VERY SCIENTIFIC WHICH WAS REALLY FUN. THERE WAS THIS LARGE WEIGHTED GRID IN THE WATER, AND THEY SEEDED THESE OYSTERS AND THEY PUT THEM IN A BIG TANK, AND THE KIND OF FORCE THEM ON THERE AND THEY USED IT WITHOUT BEING SEEDED. AND THEN THEY TESTED IT AGAINST NATURAL SHELL, AND THE NATURAL SHELL SEEDED SO WE HAVE A REALLY COOL GREAT EXPERIMENT GOING.>>Terri Allard: WELL, AND THEN IN MARYLAND YOU WORKING WITH SCIENTISTS. YOU’RE TRYING SOME OTHER EXPERIMENTS WITH THEM SO TELL ME ABOUT THAT.>>Evelyn Tickle: SO THIS IS PRETTY COOL STUFF. I’M WORKING WITH TWO DIFFERENT SCIENTIST DR. MAY, AND DR. KANGAS. AND DR. MAY CONTACTED ME AND ASKED ME IF I WAS INTERESTED IN PUTTING ALGAE IN MY CONCRETE AND I WAS LIKE WELL, OF COURSE! AND I WAS LIKE, REALLY? ALGAE? DR. KANGAS HAD SCRUBBED THIS ALGAE OFF THE SURFACE OF THE HARBOR IN BALTIMORE, SO I THINK THEY HAVE THIS ALGAE SCRUBBER. I’M NOT REALLY SURE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, BUT I GOT THE ALGAE AND IT’S VERY LIGHTWEIGHT, AND THEY THOUGHT THAT I WOULD PUT LIKE 2% IN, BUT I THOUGHT I’D REALLY PUMP IT IN, SO I TRIED TO 50% TO TRY TO SEE IF IT WOULD ATTRACT MORE MARINE SPECIES. AND SO WE POURED ABOUT 100 OF THESE. YOU’VE PROBABLY SEEN THOSE JETTIES OUT IN THE WATER AND ALL OVER THE PLACE. THEY DIRECT WATER FLOW, AND THEY’RE MADE OUT OF THESE REALLY LARGE ROCKS. ORIGINALLY I INVENTED IT SO YOU COULD TAKE THE REEF DISC N YOUR HAND AND YOU CAN JUST SHOVE IT INTO THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES, BECAUSE THE JETTIES ARE NOT PERFORMING, LIVING BREAKWATERS AND REEFS OR ANYTHING BECAUSE THE ROCKS AE TOO LARGE AND TOO SLICK ON THE SURFACE. AND THE GAP IS SO BIG SO THE WATER IS REALLY RUSHING IN ANYTHING, PUSHING ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE ATTACHED ONTO IT. YEAH, IDEA IS THAT YOU GIVE THEM A CHANCE BY SOMETHING THAT IS BAITED AND THEN WILL GET ALL SORTS OF ANOTHER ECOSYSTEM AND THAT WORD IS CALLED A LIVING BREAKWATER. WHAT’S SO COOL ABOUT THESE, AND WHAT’S SO COOL ABOUT WHAT WE DID IN MARYLAND IS THAT WE TIED THEM ONTO STRINGS AND PERFORMED FOUR DIFFERENT TEST. WE HAD A CACO3 CONCRETE WITH ALGAE, AND THEN WITHOUT, AND THEN AN OFF-THE-SHELF CONCRETE WHICH YOU CAN JUST BUY AT LOWE’S, WITH AND WITHOUT ALGAE, SO THE STRINGS ARE THE BIG ROPES THAT KIND OF LOOK LIKE THESE LONG NECKLACES THAT ARE HANGING CLOSE TO THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM IN THE INNER HARBOR. SO WE ARE TESTING THERE.>>Evelyn Tickle: AND THESE HAVE LOTS OF USES FOR THE RESIDENTIAL HOMEOWNER, AS WELL, BECAUSE THEY CAN TIE ROPES ONTO THESE AND GET THEM CONNECTED AND HANG THEM UNDERNEATH THEIR DOCKS, OYSTERS ARE ACTUALLY SOMETHING THAT GETS STOLEN A LOT. SO THEY HAVE SOME OPTIONS, AND THE COMMERCIAL PEOPLE BECAUSE THE COMMERCIAL PEOPLE IN THE NORTHEAST IN WHICH SOME OF THE ONES IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY ARE STARTING TO DO SO TOO, THEY WANT TO CATCH THEIR OWN SPAT>>Terri Allard: THEIR OWN SPAT. YOU NEVER REALLY SAID WHAT A SPAT WAS. SO WHAT IS A SPAT?>>Evelyn Tickle: A SPAT IS JUST AN EMBRYONIC OYSTER END. IT ATTACHES TO THE OYSTER, AND THAT’S AN EMBRYONIC OYSTER WHEN IT HAS GOTTEN A LITTLE BIT BIGGER, AND THIS IS PROBABLY ABOVE ABOVE SPAT NOMENCLATURE.>>Terri Allard: AND THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING THIS AND HAVE DONE THIS IN THE PAST BUT THEIR SHAPES ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT, AND THEY DON’T HAVE WHATEVER SECRET RECIPE THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO LEARN ABOUT HERE TODAY ANYWAY, BUT THESE ARE REALLY DOING WELL.>>Evelyn Tickle: THEY ARE DOING REALLY WELL, AND I’M PLEASED, BECAUSE I THINK THE REASON FOR THE OYSTER GROWING SO MUCH QUICKER ON MINE IS THAT ON THE OYSTER SHELL IT’S PRETTY HARD, RIGHT, AND THIS IS YOU CAN SEE ALL OF THE YUMMY STUFF, AND THIS ONE GETS ALL CALCIFIED, BUT THE CALCIUM ACTUALLY LEECHES OUT OF THE PRODUCT, AND IT MAKES THE WHOLE SURFACE VERY VERY HIGH CONCENTRATE, AND IT’S MORE AVAILABLE FOR THE OYSTER. IT’S MORE EASILY ACCESSED IS MY DESIGNER GUESS ON THAT.>>Terri Allard: AND YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE EDUCATIONAL PIECE ON THERE, TOO, I MEAN YOU ARE A TEACHER.>>Evelyn Tickle: YEAH YOU KNOW SO MUCH HELP IS NEEDED TO RESTORE OYSTERS AND THE COMMUNITY ASPECT OF IT TOO. THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT AND A LOT OF HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE REEFS THAT THEY DO THROUGH THEIR SCIENCE CLASSES AND STUFF AND SO I AM HOPING TO ENGAGE THE ACADEMIC PART.>>Terri Allard: THAT’S EXCITING. SO AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, SOMEONE WHO IS A DESIGNER TURNED SOMEONE SCIENTIST.>>Evelyn Tickle: SORTA. JV SCIENTIST.>>Terri Allard: OKAY. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN MAYBE DOING SOMETHING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE?>>Evelyn Tickle: I WOULD SAY THAT THE FIRST PART OF IT IS YOU REALLY HAVE TO KNOW THAT IT MIGHT TAKE A WHILE. YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY SITUATED AND PATIENT EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE STILL DEVELOPING A PRODUCT AND PRODUCT TAKE A WHILE TO DEVELOP, SO I THINK YOU REALLY GOT TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND BE INTERESTED IN IT AND BE INTERESTED IN ALL OF THE DIFFERENT PHASES. AND I CAN’T SAY THAT I LOVE GETTING OUT HERE IN THE RAIN, AND POUR A BUNCH OF CONCRETE BUT I DO IT, I DO LIKE THAT PART BUT I AM ANXIOUS TO HAND THAT PART OVER TO SOMEBODY WHEN I MOVE OUT OF MY BOOTSTRAPPING STAGE BUT I’M COMING TO A NEW PRODUCT AS A DESIGNER WITHIN ENVIRONMENTAL STANDPOINT. WHERE I HAVE TO LEARN AND HONE UP MY SKILLS IN THE BUSINESS WORLD.>>Terri Allard: WHY IS IT SO REWARDING TO YOU?>>Evelyn Tickle: OYSTERS ARE REALLY FASCINATING. THEY ARE SORT OF VERY ADDICTIVE. I LOVE TO EAT THEM. I’M EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF IT, AND I’M INTERESTED ARCHITECTURALLY IN THE FACT THAT WE KNOW RESTRUCTURING THE EARTH, SO IT’S NOT SLIDING DOWN INTO THE WATERS IS VERY INTERESTING TO ME MAKING SURE THAT THE WATERS AREN’T RISING. IN URBAN AREAS, BUT ALSO I’M EXCITED ABOUT A NEW PRODUCT I’M WORKING ON, WHICH IS A MORE ENHANCED, STRONGER VERSION IN SO THAT WE CAN USE IT TO POUR ALL SORTS OF SEA WALLS AND LARGER THINGS LIKE BRIDGE ABUTMENTS AND FOUNDATION PIECES FOR BRIDGES. THAT WE CAN DEVELOP HABITAT AND NEUTRALIZE THE WATERS WHILE WE ARE AT IT. AND THEN I HAVE A SERIES OF FORM LINERS THAT I WOULD PUT INTO LARGE CONCRETE FORMS SO THAT WE CAN MAKE NOOKS AND CRANNIES IN THESE VERY LARGE PIECES AND GET BACK UP FROM THE VERY LARGE HANDHELD SIZE AND THEN GET BACK TO AN ARCHITECTURAL SORT OF CIVIC SORT OF SCALE OF THINGS. I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. NO MORE EXCITED ABOUT THAT THAN THIS, BUT IT’S NICE THAT I CAN GROW WITH IT AND IT JUST SEEMS TO BE SO MANY MORE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE AND THAT NEED TO BE DONE AND INVESTIGATED. I LIKE THE NEVER ENDING PART OF IT.>>Terri Allard: VERY EXCITING, AND IT’S REALLY GOOD WORK SO THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>Evelyn Tickle: THANKS FOR HAVING ME HERE AND BEING INTERESTED IN LETTING ME HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW MY WORK AND IDEAS AND HOPEFULLY IT CATCHES ON.


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