In order for the land to be inexpensive, we assume that little or no water will be available on the site at the outset. Over a dozen water strategies will result in a rapid ecological development of the site. Two are mentioned here to illustrate ways in which The Company of Stewards uses salt water as a restoring agent.
i. Salt Marsh Strategy: Salt marshes exist at sea level. They are flooded by tides. Their biological roles are extremely important for the land as well as the sea. Salt water becomes fresh water in the tissues of its resident organisms, especially the plants. Salt marshes are nurseries for valuable marine life.
We propose to make "artificial" salt marshes above sea level and inland. They will be periodically flooded using New Alchemy windmill pumps and solar electric pumping units. The pumping will simulate tidal action. Salt marsh organisms will be collected throughout the Mediterranean region to seed and innoculate the new salt marshes.
In short order sediments will accumulate and new biomass will grow in abundance. Sediments and biomass will be used to mulch and "irrigate" adjacent terrestrial vegetation. Also, the salt marshes will capture rains and over time become increasingly brackish, ultimately supporting oyster and mullet culture. Salt-tolerant trees and crops, such as the Carob bean tree, will be established and will ring the inland salt marshes. These, in turn, will provide an ecological beachhead for other trees and organisms. Like the ripples of a pebble striking a pond, the soil and plant life will develop outward and inland from their marsh center.
ii. Bioshelter Strategy for Water Use: The second example employs the climatic envelopes, like New Alchemy's bioshelters, to desalinate sea water passively within. Trees, plants and soils, as well as fresh-
Appendix A: Proposal for Land Restoration
*ater and marine fishes will be cultivated. The salt is separated out from the water by condensation along the roof of the bioshelter and on the sides ot the translucent sea-water tanks. Pure salt is a by-product of this evapora-live condensation process.
The bioshelters will serve another critical function. They will be arranged spatially to provide the basis for an agricultural forest and its ecological components. The process is as follows:
a. A number of fifty- to eighty-foot diameter geodesic climatic envelopes, or bioshelters, are placed in a ring to create a large circle.
b. Sea water is pumped into solar silos within the bioshelters.
c. Evaporation and condensation produces fresh water.
d. Fresh water is used to establish a young ecological forest and its components within the bioshelter.
e. Excess water is used to establish a ring of trees immediately around the outer periphery of the structures.
f. Once trees, their root systems and soils are established (within two years), the geodesic bioshelters are lifted off and taken to a new site to repeat the cycle.
g.The cluster of trees and vegetation eventually trap their own moisture and trigger ecological succession preparing the way for a permanent agriculture.
Saline, brackish and fresh water all will have their unique ecological pathways. Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms, will be integral to the restoration process. The abundant organic wastes produced by shellfish and fish will be used to help build soils. Cultured fishes and shellfish will provide an early economic base for the enterprise.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.