It might be the middle of winter, but Audrey Moores has Kejimkujik National Park Seaside on her mind.
That’s because last week, her Fathom Fund research project—a collaboration Parks Canada—not only reached, but surpassed its $12,500 crowdfunding goal. Moores and her team have developed a biodegradable plastic made using crustacean shell waste, which will offer an incredibly innovative solution to not only a global plastics problem, but also one the 10 most unwanted species in the world: European green crabs.
“It’s been truly amazing to see this project come to life,” says Moores, an associate professor at McGill University. “It’s my first experience as a researcher seeking support via a crowdfunding mechanism. It’s really cool to see the community’s support and kind messages of encouragement and actual money commitment from people. We are used to writing grants and wait months to see if we get it, here we see the feedback right away!”
Moores has teamed up with Parks Canada, which has done its fair share of work over the past decade to tackle the green crab and reverse the damage done to Kejimkujik Seaside’s ecosystem in Little Port Joli. They’ll provide both cash and in-kind support to the project and much of the work will be done in the park itself. On top of the sustainable bio-plastic element, Moores’ “green solution” aims to aid with the recovery of deteriorated coastal ecosystems and water depollution.
“Now that the money is there, we need to look for someone to implement the project,” says Moores of her next steps. “Someone from Nova Scotia would be great because the project involves significant time at Keji park. Once we find the right person, they will be trained here at McGill on our technology before implementation can take place in Nova Scotia.”
This marks MEOPAR’s fifth successfully crowdfunded Fathom Fund project since its launch in 2018. If you’re interested in applying to be the next Fathom Fund researcher, read more here and follow @thefathomfund on Twitter. And if you’d like to contribute to Moores’ project, you still can.