Sustainable substrates for agriculture from dredged remediated marine sediments: from ports to pots
The main aim of the SUBSED project is to demonstrate that is possible convert a waste (the dredged marine sediment) into a supply (a commercial substrate) through the application of environmentally and economically sustainable techniques. In order to achieve the purpose sediment-based substrates will be applied to Italian and Spanish nursery for the production of ornamentals (cherry laurel) and fruit trees (olive and citrus), and to cultivation of non food crops (protea, calla lily, cherry laurel) and food crops (basil, blueberry, woodland strawberry and citrus).
In detail, the specific objectives of LIFE SUBSED are:
To demonstrate the production and the use of a new innovative remediated sediment-based substrate to be used in agriculture.
To guarantee transferabilitby and replicability of the remediated sediment-based substrate production and use, by providing technical training and supporting tools for the case-to-case identification and implementation of the best technique and by using all media available to actively transfer knowledge at all levels, local, national and European.
To provide public administration, which work on sediment and agriculture management strategies, of guideline for safe preparation and use of sediment-based substrate in order to translate in practice project policies
To increase awareness and support sediment and agriculture sectors by providing cost-effective solutions that include more efficient techniques that may also improve profitability and providing market analysis to promote the innovative substrate and its diffusion through its acceptance by stakeholders, professionals, and policy makers.
To identify and involve all relevant stakeholders related to sediment and agriculture issues. This in turn will aim to integrate social, environmental and economic components of the sediment and agriculture management.
The expected results of the LIFE SUBSED project
The main result of the SUBSED project is the set up of a protocol to optimize an ‘environmental friendly’ commercial substrate obtained with remediated marine sediment for replacing the current peat-based substrates.
The specific technical results will be:
the evaluation of the suitability of the sediments for the nursery production of food/non food species (laurel, olive and citrus);
the evaluation of growth and commercial quality of non food crops (calla lily, protea and laurel);
the characterisation from the morphological, biochemical and sensorial point of view of 1 basil, 2 blueberry and 1 woodland strawberry cultivars grown in container on treated sediment-based substrates;
the evaluation of the suitability of food crops in relation to heavy metals and other pollutants also of organic origin;
the improvement of the knowledge on the treated sediments and their influence on plant growth and fruit quality;
the evaluation of the suitability of treated sediments to be converted into a marketable product and also face the normative and legal issues related to the use of dredged remediated sediment as substrate in agriculture;
the reduction of the use of peat and its substitution with treated sediments (10-20% of substitution are expected), with an improvement in the waste (sediment) management;
the reduction of CO2 emission due to the substitution of peat by treated sediments.
Many other activities will be carried out in such a way as to effectively influence the public audience and sector operators. In particular it is planned to realize:
Technical training courses;
Peer reviewed scientific papers;
Articles in general newspapers and TV participations;
Participations at national and international conferences, fairs and other events;
Creation of an active network with other EU projects, which will facilitate the exchange of information among consortia who work or have worked in the same area of LIFE SUBSED;
contacts with institutions and policy makers from different EU and National institutions.
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