Algal Boom

Eleni Vrettakou, Pablo Bustamante Hermida, Carlo Bramanti

Algal Boom reflects on the relationship between small scale and large scale solutions to environmental problems as a result of anthropogenic activity.

As a result of agricultural processes, excessive amounts of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen end up in water bodies, causing the water to become eutrophic. This induces many species of algae to overgrow and the consequent algal blooms lead to strong ecosystem imbalances. Algal blooms decrease the level of oxygen in water and elevate its PH, they block sunlight, and produce toxins, all of which significantly degrade the quality of the water. These negative impacts are a major cause of biodiversity loss. Additionally, this extreme growth can lead the algae to a condition called hypoxia, which is essentially their self-suffocation.

Governments seem unwilling to act – as it would mean imposing restrictions on the profitable agriculture industry – so we want to start a conversation that will draw attention to the issue through practical means: a series of  DIY tools for cleaning water on an individual scale that engage with the problem directly and address the need for a more systematic solution. These tools are made of repurposed, second-hand kitchen equipment, drawing back to the agricultural industry as the source of the problem.