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Protect our beaches

By Staff | May 27, 2010

To the editor:

Last week, the Island Reporter printed a PURRE message to its members about a proposed method to clean up the Gulf oil spill, but it was missing some key information. Because the message was sent via e-mail, that information was contained in a video link. Here it is for readers. To watch the video demonstration, go to www.ecofriend.org.

CW Roberts’ employees propose to clean up Gulf oil spill with hay

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a disaster, and most efforts to stop the leak and clean up the water have not been quite successful thus far. While several researchers are pushing the limits of technology to try and prevent any further damage to the ecosystem, two men are demonstrating a unique, inexpensive and above all environmentally friendly method to grab the oil off the surface of the water.

These men, Darryl Carpenter, VP of Florida-based CW Roberts Contracting, and sub-contractor Otis Goodson have found out that simply blowing hay on the surface of contaminated water and stirring it will make the hay absorb oil. Oil-laden hay can then simply be collected to purify water.

After proving their idea in two pans, the team now wants to prove themselves on a 10-acre area in the Gulf waters. To jump start the process, the company is organizing another demonstration to show how a hay blower and a conveyor can be put out on a boat to distribute the hay and then pick it up.

CW Roberts Contracting, Inc. is based in Fort Myers, and I have talked in depth with its Vice President, Darryl Carpenter. I am convinced this solution will work. All CW Roberts is asking for is one square mile in the offshore spill area to prove it will work. If it works, and I think it will, we will then work directly with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and all related state and federal agencies to come up with a process to use this solution in the near beach zone with “rapid removal” as a last ditch effort to protect our beaches.

Michael J. Valiquette

Chairman, PURRE Water Coalition, Inc.