June 4, 2010
The oil mess along the gulf coast now has a Nelson County connection in the cleanup solution.
A firm from Afton has successfully helped lobby BP to use peat to clean up the oil washing ashore on the wetlands in Louisiana and Florida.
"The first two truckloads are going down," says Ana Mariza McGroarty of Synergy Environmental.
That's 780 bags of Canadian peat, headed to Louisiana to clean up with the oil.
"It has been incredible," says McGroarty. "People have been pulling together...reaching out however they can."
The gulf oil has made its way to Pensacola, Florida. A woman in Florida is using the Synergy product there.
"Greenpeace actually came in because we're selling to Greenpeace, and they purchased bags for her. They are going to start laying this [peat] in the cove area to try to save the dolphins."
Once the peat absorbs the oil it becomes a kind of fertilizer. It breaks down the oil, so that you can grow seeds in it. One of the benefits of peat is that it doesn't create any chemical side effects or harm the wildlife and birds that live in the wetlands.
"They can go in there, and still be in their nest, and it won't hurt them," says McGroarty.
It's all about making lemonade out of lemons, or in this case fertilizer out of oil.