Deep in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon lies one of the worst environmental disasters in human history. Over the past several decades, oil companies have discharged more than 18 billion gallons of petroleum contaminated wastewater into the Sucumbíos region in northeastern Ecuador. The contamination, which spans a geographic region roughly the size of Rhode Island, is described by the media as “Amazonian Chernobyl.”
Now a grassroots effort known as the Amazon Mycorenewal Project (AMP) hopes to take remediation into their own hands- and to the people of Sucumbíos. The scientists, international volunteers and Ecuadorians driving the AMP believe the key to remediation lies in microorganisms thriving in petroleum-contaminated soils. Today, the AMP launched an indiegogo campaign to raise money for research that will determine whether naturally occurring bacteria, fungi and plants can be used to degrade the toxic petro-waste that has plagued the region.
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