A Green Approach to Bluer Water: Jennifer Cherrier on The Thought Project

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Manage episode 290111812 series 1953166
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New York City has a water runoff problem that’s leading to the contamination of its lakes, rivers, and marine waterways. The city’s paved streets lower the amount of rainwater that can be absorbed, which leads to greater runoff. That runoff in turn causes local floods and overwhelmed sewer systems that bring effluent into the city’s many waterways, such as the Hudson River. Scientists expect these problems to intensify with higher seas and more intense storms that accompany climate change. In this episode of The Thought Project, Jennifer Cherrier, a professor of environmental sciences at The Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, discusses her efforts to counteract the devastating effects of stormwater runoff and help New York remain a leader in water resource management. Cherrier has created and patented EcoWEIR, a technology designed to filter and reduce levels of carbon and nitrogen and other contaminants in large water systems. The system is currently being tested as a solution to Prospect Park’s problem with algae bloom. She describes how EcoWEIR combines green solutions, such as dirt and soil, with gray infrastructure, such as filters and pipes, to clean contaminated water. She also discusses her collaborations with fellow scientists and the city to plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change, and her work to prepare CUNY students for the green jobs of the future.

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