The University of St. Joseph Macao (USJ), Institute of Science and Environment, will receive funding from gaming group Las Vegas Sands to investigate ways to enhance local water quality through the use of native wetland plants, especially mangroves, as natural purifiers for water pollution.
The research study – first reported by newspaper Ponto Final – will also explore potential co-benefits generated for the city such as the reduction of water-related risks such as flooding due to impact of storm surge, ecosystem rehabilitation and maintenance, as well as enhancement and protection of biodiversity in the local coastal wetland ecosystems.
The funding is part of The Drop by Drop Project initiated by Clean the World Foundation in partnership with Las Vegas Sands to reinvest capital from water stewardship efforts into three innovative projects for water pollution reduction in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore.
The study will assess how native wetland plant species can be utilized for phytoremediation, which is the process by which plants and technology combine to clean contaminated soil, air, and water while investigating the efficiency of the selected wetland mangroves and other plants in the removal of water pollutants through tank experiments.
Until recently, the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) had plans to use mangroves to reduce water pollution in the Areia Preta district riverside but suspended it due to govenrment plans to develop a landfill in the area for a future Light Rapid Transit (LRT) connection and to expand the road network.
Clean the World Foundation is an international development and global health nonprofit operating hygiene-focused emergency relief initiatives, and water, sanitation, and hygiene) education programs targeting vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world.
‘We are excited to see the results of this important study aimed at enhancing coastal water quality in Macau. […] Through this impactful initiative, resources are allocated to the improvement of global water systems, one drop at a time,” the executive director of the Clean the World Foundation, Sam Stephens, indicated in the announcement.