Gabrielle Marie Strike
The innovation derived from the team's research holds the potential to substantially minimize the impacts in aquatic environments of overly enriched (eutrophication) and excess nitrate from agricultural sources by using natural biofiltration and sequestration. The team discovered a method to reduce the nitrate load from water by roughly 55% through the usage of a Lucerne hay component in a riparian buffer zone. As a riparian buffer system, Lucerne hay is applied to an agricultural boundary by integrating it into the soil. Lucerne hay riparian buffer components, as they are derived from clover and particular grasses, naturally harbor denitrifying bacteria which sequester nitrate and release it as atmospheric gas.