From a polluted river to a healthier ecosystem in one of the most important rivers in Monterrey
The vast northeastern region of Mexico, where this project is located, has always been considered as an industrial area. Despite the magnificent Sierra Madre mountains crossing the state of Nuevo Leon, the area is contemplated as a production region. However, hidden ecosystems can be found in any corner of Nuevo Leon, especially close to its capital Monterrey. Such is the case with the Salinas Valley. Located in the center of the state, this semi-desertic region contains one of the most important rivers in the state: Salinas River.
Unfortunately, Salinas River, once the home of many endemic bird species, now is highly polluted by industrial sewage and agricultural waste. As result, in 2023 the Salinas Riverproject started as an effort to restore this rich ecosystem. The project activities focus on the integral bioremediation of the river by the actions of native diatoms. By using native microalgae, the project aims not only to restore the ecosystem but also to grow liquid trees all along the Salinas River. Other project activities also include growing the local economy by creating job opportunities and collaborating with national research institutes and universities.
Our team is made up of experts in the biotechnology sector that have conducted microbiological research at prestigious institutions. The group is also supported by a group of experts with extensive expertise in the use of microalgae for bioremediation. A local team is in charge of managing the project's implementation, contributing to create local employment in the biotechnology sector.
The Salinas River team is supported by local institutions and professionals from the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon and Roca Laboratories.
The Salinas River unique ecosystem
The flora that surrounds the Salinas River
Water sampling at Salinas River
Rich microalgae biodiversity at Salinas River
Liquid Trees rigorously evaluates every project listed on our marketplace to ensure that we're surfacing only the highest quality projects. Our Evaluation Criteria includes a series of checks that every project must pass as well as a number of informative insights on project quality. You can see a preview of these checks below.Learn more
Every river project listed on the Liquid Trees Marketplace must align with our Evaluation Criteria to ensure project quality. To monitor a river bioremediation project, Liquid Trees uses remote sensing and geographic information systems along with field measurements to monitor and assess microalgae biomass and nutrient evolution along the target river.
This animation shows how the microalgae will start blooming in the river after their inoculation while fixing carbon dioxide and capturing excess nitrogen and phosphorus from water.
Salinas Riverwas once a rich habitat for birds and aquatic fauna, however the destruction of the river ecosystem does not receive its deserved attention. Most of the pollution comes from sewage from industries around the metropolitan area. These effluents are directly injected into the river without the appropriate treatment. Another non-point pollution source is agricultural run-off since the Salinas River feeds into the Pesqueria River which flows through agricultural areas. The lack of efforts to moderate the discharge of agricultural wastes into the river led to a decrease in water quality, which also affects the local population.
Salinas River bioremediation projects aim to reverse this situation, creating benefits not only at the River itself but also for the adjacent rivers: Pesqueria and San Juan.
The Salinas River in Nuevo Leon, Mexico flows through several cities and municipalities in the region including mainly Monterrey and Zuazua. Monterrey is the capital of the state and the financial, commercial, and industrial center of the Northern region of Mexico. Also, it is the industrial capital of the country. According to a study publish in the OECD, Nuevo León has the third largest economy of all the states in Mexico and its per capita income exceeds the national average to a significant degree. It has an employment rate of 62%, most of the jobs are in the manufacturing industry and construction.
Salinas River was chosen because of the deterioration of its ecosystem. Once a rich habitat for birds and aquatic fauna, the destruction of the river is a problem which does not receive its deserved attention. The Salinas River hydrologic region has a negative index value which means that local biodiversity is decreasing. Specifically, the fish population is one of the most affected ones. Along the course of the Salinas and Pesqueria Rivers, there are some popular fishing destinations which are highly affected. Most of the pollution comes from industrial effluents without appropriate treatment and agricultural run-off.
To reverse this situation, this project aims to create a positive impact in the water quality of Salinas River and also its adjacent rivers: Pesqueria and San Juan. Also, job opportunities will support the local community talents.
The Salinas River flows along the Salinas Valley passing through the Escobedo municipality, which high population and industrial activity. A lot of trash is accumulated along this area including plastic bottles, straws, among other solid residues. In these areas of the river, there is a diminish of natural biodiversity since these types of residues greatly affect the habitat of birds, fish, and other animals that depends on the river.
Salinas river bioremediation project includes their removal from the river by installing nets that trap the residues and prevent their spreading downstream.
In alignment with Liquid Trees' commitment to environmental stewardship, this river bioremediation project support the achievement of these SDGs
This project expands the contiguous habitat of the neighboring national park eastward to the Seruyan River, which local communities rely heavily on for drinking, transportation, and fish stocks. This land preservation provides countless flora and fauna with a natural, undisturbed habitat where they can thrive. Central Kalimantan Peatlands protects the populations of five critically endangered, 12 endangered, and 37 vulnerable species (including 5% of the world’s total population of Orangutans). Other mammals in the area include the Asian Sun Bear, Sunda Pangolin, Clouded Leopard, Proboscis Monkey, Hairy-Nosed Otter and many species of bats.
Among the largest near-surface reserves of terrestrial organic carbon, peatlands are made up of organic matter from partially decomposed remains of trees that accumulate to a thickness of 10m+. These forests are also home to a wide range of plant and animal life.
Regular daily patrols cover large expanses of this remote peat swamp on foot and by motorized canoe to prevent illegal activity and conduct a range of biological, resource and social surveys. Working together with project communities has strengthened local ties and support for the project.
The only great ape outside of Africa, whose populations have declined 95% in the last century, is critically endangered due to human activities. Tanjung Puting National Park (adjacent to the project area) houses one of the largest protected populations.
Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) collaborates with the project on the implementation of forest monitoring, reporting and protection activities on the ground.