JERSEY CITY, N.J. — With the help of the Hudson County Improvement Authority, McNair Academic High School Senior Harshal Agrawal, of Jersey City, continued his five-year quest to develop a cost-efficient, eco-friendly method for preventing Harmful Algae Bloom (HABs) with Stropharia Mycelium by planting Stropharia Mushroom at Lincoln Park Golf Course on Saturday. The goal is to to use Stropharia Myselium to remove Nitrate and Phosphate (leading causes of HABs) from running water.
Harshal planted 3’ by 15’ mushroom patches at strategic downslopes around a pond on the golf course and will be colonizing 170 cubic feet of wood mulch with a group of volunteers from his high school.
Hudson County Freeholders Bill O’Dea and Joel Torres were instrumental in lending assistance to the young environmentalist.
“Anything we can do to lend a hand to the next generation we will do,” O’Dea said. “I’m very impressed with this young man’s work and look forward to seeing the results of his studies in the future.”
“It’s an inspiration to see someone – especially someone Harshal’s age – be this involved and dedicated to this cause,” Torres said. “Harshal is a fine example of the kind of students we have in our schools. He has a great mind and he wants to use it to make our environment better.”
Harshal’s work began when he was in eight grade and setting up small experiments in his home, where he first discovered using elementary procedures that Stropharia Mycelium can reduce HABs in groundwater. More recently, he turned to the HCIA for their support in his experiments, which they provided as well as assisting with costs.
“We were more than happy to help out because cleaner water is always a concern for all of us,” said Hudson County Improvement Authority CEO Norman Guerra. “He’s doing important work and we’re all looking forward to the results.”
It is Harshal’s long-range goal to get Stropharia Mycofiltration approved by the USDA and implemented at farms and feedlots nationwide as an open-source filtration method.