Projects

Rodeo Living Shoreline

The Rodeo Waterfront has the opportunity to pioneer Living Solutions to its polluted past. One key element of this coastline is the Selby Slag, which used to be a metal smelting location and its toxic legacy is leaching heavy metals into the bay and destroying biodiversity.  In 2018 the CA Department of Toxic Substance Control completed an Environmental Impact Report [EIR] for a planned site cleanup that was rejected by the surrounding community. The team at the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District see the chance to remediate the toxic legacy with biological solutions, creating one cohesive vision for this coastline.

EcoHero Wisdom Council

Charles Davidson- Energy Policy Liason at Contra Costa Sierra Club

Jay Gunkelman- Chief Science Officer at Brain Science International

Maureen Brennan- Rodeo Sanitary District

Science/ Technology- Cole Burchiel of the Baykeepers

Business- Maureen Brennan of the Rodeo Sanitary District

Design- Tim Mollette-Parks, Graham Laird Prentice of Mithun

Community- Heidi Petty of CCRCD, Lisa Argento Martell of the Slag

Rodeo Living Levee

The Rodeo Living Levee is essentially a gently sloping marsh, an example of a nature-based solution that can be built in lieu of constructing a traditional vertical seawall. The levee provides community flood protection from sea level rise while also restoring wetland habitat for native plants and animals. The living levee will also be designed to improve the health of the bay by further 'polishing' the Rodeo Sanitary District's wastewater. The concept of a living levee is now possible because regulatory agencies, such as the BCDC (Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission,) are allowing 'beneficial fill.'

EcoHero- Chris Lim, Executive Director at Contra Costa Resource Conservation District
Science/ Technology- Brent Buckman of Hyphae
Design- Tim Mollette-Parks, Graham Laird Prentice of Mithun
Business- Jon Connors of Hack for Earth

Community- Heidi Petty of CCRCD and Marcus Griswold phD, Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist at San Mateo County Office of Sustainability

Save the Crockett Waterfront

The Carquinez  Waterfront is an area situated just west of I-80 under and next to the Carquinez Bridge  in the town of Crockett.. The Carquinez Recover the Waterfront Committee (CReW) formed in late 2017 to develop the Carquinez Waterfront from a waste-disposal area to a fully-integrated community landscape  and  local  habitat  restoration. This  Waterfront  will  provide  a  common  use  space  for  activities such as picnics, relaxation, community gatherings, and recreation staging, as well as connections to pre existing infrastructure including open space, the San Francisco Bay Trail route, the Carquinez Strait waterway, non-profit volunteer facilities, and under-bridge plantings. The Core Area, 3.2 Acres, adds the central public space to the Carquinez Waterfront.  The Shoreline Area, that is now free of debris and illegally dumped boats and cars after many decades of neglect, will be reclaimed for the community as a beautiful location to enjoy the view of the Strait. 

EcoHero- Dr. Dean Kelch Environmental Program Manager at California Department of Food and Agriculture
Design- 
Tim Mollette-Parks, Graham Laird Prentice of Mithun

Community- Heidi Petty, Watershed Program Manager at the Contra Costa County Resource Conservation District

Floodplain Mimetics - the Aquafarming Approach 

Mission- Use restoration farming to reverse floodplain degradation and associated loss of ecosystem services with special emphasis on juvenile salmonid habitat creation.

 

Vision- Reshape farmland that was formerly floodplain to accommodate permanent or semi-permanent flood irrigation to form a network of navigable channels between which chinampas style floating farm beds can yield ultra high productivity mixed herb and vegetable row crops. Chinampas formation, seedbed preparation, spray irrigation of seedings, nutrient delivery systems, washing of produce and transport of harvest happen vis-à-vis a semi-autonomous aqua-tractor.

EcoHero- Nik Bertulis cofounder of the Deep Blue Institute
Science/Technology- Joshua Armah- Chief Data Scientist, Wiase Research Institute

Community- Jonathan Delong, Founder of Regenerative Ocean Economies

Technical Advisors- Jared Wood Communications and Organizational Development for Regenerative Social Enterprise, and Carly Ko Speaker at Ko-Creation

Ecological Advisors- Brock Doleman of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and Will Harling, Executive Director at Mid Klamath Watershed Council

Water Quality Monitoring with Drones

Imagine getting a full snapshot of SF Bay and Delta pollution dynamics over space and time. Approaches to characterizing water quality have not meaningfully evolved in decades and continue to rely on inefficient and labor-intensive manual sampling techniques, teams and couriers sitting in traffic, and analyses in centralized labs. Stakeholders are typically unaware of the box and whisker plots summarizing results that are often buried in annual regulatory reports submitted once a year. Will Lewis, founder of Sequence Environmental, believes that there is an opportunity to initiate a paradigm shift in how water quality is assessed, reported, and ultimately used to manage aquatic and marine resources. Sequence is working to develop and implement a novel water quality monitoring framework using aerial drones to collect water samples or deploy sensors, mobile labs for near real-time analyses, and a software back end consisting of an intuitive map user interface and machine learning to summarize observed and eventually forecast water quality conditions.

 

EcoHero- Will Lewis, Founder of Sequence Environmental

Science/Technology- Richard Ling, developer and Faisal Kalema, data scientist

Design- Karen Lo, UI/ UX designer and researcher and Katie Yarnold, visual artist, UI/ UX designer

Community- Heidi Petty of the CCRCD

Berkeley Green New Deal

Local Problems require local solutions. Hack the Green New Deal

The original New Deal had 3R's

1. Relief

2. Recovery

3. Reform

We suggest the Green New Deal incorporate 3 R's, and begin piloting in Berkeley CA.

1. Relief

2. Restoration

3. Regeneration

Send this video to your eco inspired Berkeley friends, to the mayor and city council. 3R's for a post COVID19 roaring 20s.

Robotic Algae Removal

Solaris Cybernetics has patented and engineered a prototype of a robotic system for cultivating and converting aquatic biomass into synthetic fuel, using abundantly available offshore wind. While algal biofuels have been plagued by expensive grid-based energy inputs, and offshore wind by expensive permitting and baseload power mismatch, the "Mobula" units square the circle by using unmooring a robust wind turbines – placing it atop a processing unit that can use wind energy when it is available to harvest up to 10 gallons of fuel per day. Rudy Behrens, the founder, is currently working with Florida's Department of Environmental Protection to build robots that can alleviate the red tide conditions in its lakes and estuaries by consuming algae and excess nutrient run-off. Behrens is also willing to license the technology to small-time ecological entrepreneurs who see an opportunity in their own locales to either reduce overgrowth of harmful cyanobacteria (i.e., blue-green algae), or create fuel from a controlled ecology of aquatic plants growing within a robotic greenhouse enclosure. 

EcoHero- Rudolph Behrens, founder at Solaris Cybernetics

Team Lead Business- Charlie Deist, USCG licensed captain and seasteader   
Science/Technology- Emma Deist- phD candidate in experimental atomic physics at UC Berkeley. 
Design- Alex Liotti, UI/UX designer
Community- John Bechtol, retired general construction contractor, including solar

Mapping Illegal Dumping

Across the Bay and Delta, particularly in rural areas, the issue of illegal dumping is only growing each month. No matter whether the dumping is done on public or private land, the land and local ecosystem is only degrading around dumpsites. The goal of this project is to create a program using methods such as user submissions and drone surveillance to map repeated hot-spots of illegal dumping. From this data we hope to empower concerned parties, partner organizations, and decision-making bodies to make data-driven actions on the issue.

EcoHero- Ryan Sherring, farmer/software Engineer
Science/Technology- Alvin Wong, developer
Design- Kendall Gremillion, product designer and researcher and Justin Calhoun user experience designer

Projects Under Review

We have a vetting process for new projects, check out some of our possible future ones here

Want to discuss a local Hack near you?

Email Jon at hackforearth@gmail.com and tell him a few paragraphs about your vision for a local Restore-A-Thon and we will set up a time to discuss.

Want to be on the Hack the Bay 

& Delta 2021 planning team?

Email us at hackbaydelta@gmail.com and tell us two paragraphs about your connection to our local ecosystem and where you see this ever evolving community could go.

Expand Carbon Farming

Action Team

Runaway CO2 emissions are creating more fire, more intense storms and sea-level rise. 

Bay area corporations who emit large amounts of CO2, like refineries, are at risk of being harassed by activists as new technology comes online that reports CO2 output of businesses from satellites, visualizing that pollution for citizens. These well-funded visions are creating an environment where either business begins to actively Draw Down CO2 from the atmosphere or risk disruption of their business cycle and profits.


If we build just .5% of soil carbon in all the world’s agricultural and grazing lands, we can remove all the CO2 emitted since the 1860s. It’s time to scale up Carbon Farming for the good of all sentient life on the planet. We will form an action team to directly get funding from Bay Area corporations looking to drastically DrawDown their CO2 with carbon farming techniques deployed on farmland available in the CCRCD network. Team ill come up with a comprehensive plan to show how $10m will be used for a Carbon Farming program that raises private money and distributes that through the RCDs to farmers.

 

EcoHero- The Soil
Science/Technology- Ben Weise, of the CCRCD 
Business- Jon Connors of Hack for Earth

Community- Derek Emmon of the CCRCD

Give to a project!

Floating Island Bio-Filters

The Marin Civic Center lagoon is both a state and national historic landmark because of its Frank Lloyd Wright legacy and it is also our symbolic commons. We were deeply saddened by the massive fish die-off in the Marin Lagoon on August 10, 2020. We believe it is time to “Do the Wright Thing!” We want the County to protect our public health and invest in both environmental and cultural resilience by agreeing to improve the water quality in the Marin Lagoon. We seek to work with the county to implement the natural floating island bio-filtration solutions we have successfully demonstrated over the past five years. The Marin Lagoon is naturally fed by a freshwater spring and is part of Gallinas Creek’s tidal estuary flowing between Terra Linda and San Pablo Bay. Current maintenance practices wash waste from adjacent lawns and pathways directly into the open waters of the Lagoon.

 

Our tech is Bio-TEK. We have developed a Floating Bio-Filtration System made of natural materials (purchased Bamboo and locally gathered plant materials; willow and tule). We are working with bamboo for buoyancy and Monique Sonoquie, who uses basket weaving techniques based on her Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) handed down by the Chumash and Tongva Ancestors. 

 

EcoShero- Aurora Mahassine Founding Member Civic Center Watershed Restoration Project 

Science/ Technology- Monique Sonoquie Bio-TEK expert

Business- Galen Fulford, Managing Director at Biomatrix Water Solutions Ltd

Community- Judy Schreibman, Director at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District 

Local Carbon Network- Small Scale Carbon Farming

The average Bay Area household can sequester as much carbon as 1.2 acres of forest, using food scraps. The Local Carbon Network is now seeking critical mass of households in the Bay Area to sequester 1,000 tons of carbon per year. Most food put into a traditional composter rots, without ever becoming compost. A monthly package with biochar, a starter and a  finisher will turn your food scraps into rich compost. Want to impact climate change? Soil with compost, made with biochar, sequesters carbon faster than any  other known method.  This robust, biologically-active compost will also increase the productivity of Resiliency Garden or Victory Garden.  Local Carbon Network is a social enterprise project of  Berkeley’s All Power Labs and Solano’s SymSoil, firms that have deep understanding of the chemistry and biology of healthy soil.

At Local Carbon Network, we are soil nerds, not tech nerds –

EcoHero-The Soil

Science/ Technology- Elizabeth Pearce, founder of Sym Soil

Design- Writing and Design Aurora Mahassine & Silvia Sandri

Community- Sarah Gronqist, Associate Principal at PlaceWorks, Instructor at SGLA Technical Training