A unique geographic feature will be protected by a product that otherwise would be destined for a landfill. Officials in Walton County, Florida, in an effort to prevent oil from the continuing Deepwater Horizon disaster from reaching their beaches, have turned to a recycled carpet product normally used in construction projects. Called GeoHay, it is a highly absorbent barrier made from 100% recycled carpet fibers. Used on construction sites to control erosion, GeoHay is described by the manufacturer as more efficient than typical hay bales and silt fences that degrade and are single-use products. GeoHay can be cleaned and reused over and over in construction situations.
The Walton County Sheriff’s office hopes GeoHay will act as a filter for oil-laden seawater and plans to deploy the barriers around the ecologically sensitive Coastal Dune Lakes. Other areas in Walton County will be protected from oil by conventional booms, silt fences and hay bales. Only five areas in the world are known to have coastal dune lakes.
The petroleum-based recycled fibers are absorbent, durable and non-biodegradable; qualities that make GeoHay particularly suitable to help hold back the potentially devastating effects of the massive oil spill.