The BK Bioreactor is a project from a group of microbiologists who seek to identify and catalogue all of the microorganisms and biology in the Gowanus Canal, as a function of time.
The Gowanus Canal is scheduled to undergo dredging and sub-aquatic capping as part of the USEPA Superfund Cleanup plan beginning in 2016. Alternatively microbiologists are drawing attention to polluted urban environments as they discover new communities of microorganisms capable of biologically processing pollutants. In reaction to the announcements to cap the canal, the study team commenced a microbiome analysis of sediment samples to ensure the taxonomy and potentially unique cellular functions of microbial communities in the Gowanus Canal are catalogued and studied before dredging operations eliminate access. The BK BioReactor is an infrastructural bio-network designed to support and propel these investigations into the future and generate an active space for the community to inquire, investigate and project findings back to the community.