Salinas River

550 km

In-situ River Bioremediation

550 km

Salinas River

In-situ River Bioremediation

From a polluted river to a healthier ecosystem in one of the most important rivers in Monterrey


Salinas River

550 km
1010 Solutions

Salinas River


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.

Local team

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.

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Feasibility study
The suitable river for microalgal bioremediation is selected after a feasibility study including several criteria such as water quality, environmental, hydrological, and geological conditions.
Selection of the inoculation point
Define the suitable river inoculation location for the construction of the microalgae facility for river bioremediation.
Environmental permits
Obtention of permits to perform the river bioremediation in accordance with environmental compliance.
Baseline assessment
Water quality evaluation along river monitoring stations and determination of the baseline carbon stock at the riverbed.
Native microalgae selection
Identification, selection, and isolation of native microalgae already adapted and acclimatized to local river ecosystem environmental conditions. Microalgae selection considers their carbon capture and sequestration potential.
Microalgae cultivation
Scaling-up of the isolated native microalgae in the algal facility maintaining the identical environmental conditions found in their natural habitat.
River bioremediation
Use of cultivated microalgae consortium as inoculum for bioaugmentation in the selected river
In-situ river phycoremediation
Inoculation of the river with the microalgae culture for the removal of excessive water nutrients as they are transported downstream.
Microalgae deposition and accumulation
When the inoculated microalgae die, they follow deposition and accumulation in the riverbed soil where biomass is stored, sequestering the carbon captured during growth. 
River bioremediation monitoring
The project delivers a long-lasting climate impact ensured by continuous and efficient monitoring
Monitoring river bioremediation performance
Spatial and temporal assessment of water quality along the river monitoring stations considering the evolution of biological and physicochemical parameters to evaluate water quality during and after the bioremediation.

Also, satellites images and RS tools are used to monitor microalgae blooms and nutrients evolution along the river.
Carbon sequestration verification and validation
A combination of MRV techniques are used to report the carbon storage in riverbed soils and GHG mitigation
Field measurements
In-situ field measurements to verify and validate microalgae-biomass deposition and accumulation and its contribution to carbon storage in the riverbed soil.
Modelling and simulation
Application of models to simulate microalgae behaviour in the river-estuary system and quantify biomass contribution to the carbon pool.

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.


A hidden valley in the desert

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 valley with a unique ecosystem polluted by industrial sewage
Economic conditions

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.

Fish population conditions

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.

Trash and plastic pollution

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

Zero Hunger
Microalgae cultivation does not require fertile land.

The water used for the cultivation is returned to the river, providing clean water for irrigation.
Microalgae mitigate eutrophication in water bodies through nutrient uptake, protecting biodiversity.

Microalgae cultivation in rivers can remove organic and inorganic chemicals, including heavy metals, microplastics, and emerging pollutants.

Microalgae promote water quality and enhance dissolved oxygen.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Decent Work and Economic Growth
The operation and maintenance of microalgal cultivation facilities and the river bioremediation project provide job opportunities for locals.
Microalgae effectively capture and fix atmospheric CO2 due to their high photosynthetic efficiency, mitigating GHGs emissions.

Microalgae biological carbon sequestration is a promising and sustainable technology to address global warming and climate change.
SDG 13
Climate Action
SDG 14
Life Below Water
Microalgae have a significant impact on the bioremediation of diffuse pollution and eutrophication mitigation, reducing excessive nutrients and increasing water oxygenation.

Microalgae increase the population of river flora and fauna due to water oxygenation.

Microalgae technology helps to improve and preserve aquatic habitats and promote ecosystem resilience.
The success of the in-situ application of microalgae technology is strongly linked to the collaboration and partnerships between multi-stakeholder groups, policy- and decision-makers.
SDG 17
Partnership for the goal

More than half of all mammals in Borneo live in this project area

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.

a big rainforest and the river
Vulnerable species
Tree & plant species
Tree Spotlight


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.

Tree Spotlight

Bornean Orangutan

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.

Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019