Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Biotechnology and Coastal Restoration: Can we have Chia Wetlands?

I am taking a biotechnology law course right now in law school, and I have often daydreamed- while we're talking about splicing plant dna for agriculture or human dna for medical treatments- that biotechnology might be applied in the coastal restoration context.

Why can't we have a Chia-wetland? I've learned that wetlands have a much higher ratio of vegetation to soil than most land, so just depositing sediment without active growth isn't as helpful. So I started imagining that someone could create Chia wetlands of modified native plants that would grow and take root quickly to supplement our sediment depositing. Very rough model:

Well it turns out, my idea wasn't a new one. The article below shows that the folks at the LSU Ag school have been researching it. However, the article I found is from 2003 and I haven't been able to turn up anymore sources. Anyone have any clues on whether this is still being looked into or is just a dead end?

Using Biotechnology for Coastal Restoration - 2003 | Louisiana Agriculture Magazine | Communications | LSU AgCenter