News | February 12, 2014

Cape Cod Community College Will Host Water Defense, OPFLEX Technology In A Town Hall Meeting On Keeping Local Waters Clean


Water Defense, a nonprofit with a mission to keep the nation’s water contaminant-free, is collaborating with Cape Cod Community College and Scott Smith, founder and inventor of Cape Cod-based OPFLEX® Technology, in a project to test an emerging technology and demonstrate its efficacy to fingerprint, monitor and help reduce pollution of Cape Cod’s waters. This initiative will focus on building and implementing a curriculum establishing baseline water testing to keep the region up to date on water contaminants that accumulate over time. This program, along with the work of Water Defense and its Chief Scientist Scott Smith, will be presented at Cape Cod Community College’s Tilden Theater on February 24, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Water Defense was founded by actor and director Mark Ruffalo. In 2013, Ruffalo reached out to Smith to learn more about OPFLEX, an emerging technology based on biomimicry that includes open-celled foam designed to absorb and filter contaminants.

Mr. Ruffalo stated, “I saw the innovative work that Scott was doing in Mayflower, Arkansas during the ExxonMobil Mayflower, AR Pegasus pipeline spill and in the Gulf with the BP cleanup. Scott and I share a vision of clean waterways around the world, protected by the most advanced technology available, and we believe this vital resource connects all of us. The Cape is close to Scott’s heart, so I’m proud that we can begin our critical work on Cape Cod with Cape Cod Community College to set new standards for the world.”

Smith added, “I raised my family here and did most of my scientific research developing cumulative water column testing on Cape Cod; this is my home. Nothing makes me sadder than to see the contaminated waters of Cape Cod and the lack of preparedness for oil spills. With Cape Cod Community College’s partnership, we are finally in a position to educate the community about water preservation and arm future generations with technology to create lasting change to truly save our waters.”

In 2012, Smith gave an initial presentation at Cape Cod Community College that included an overview of OPFLEX Eelgrass and how it replicates natural eelgrass, which has been greatly diminished due to nearby nitrate loading, to support a healthy coastal ecosystem. Additionally, early testing indicates that OPFLEX Technology’s open-celled foam design can collect data on both what it absorbs and the rates of accumulation of toxins over time – providing potentially significant data currently not available from typical instantaneous testing.

Cape Cod Community College president John Cox indicated, “This collaboration enables our students to gain exposure to new material applications while participating in the testing of a new methodology. It opens the doors for internship opportunities and allows the College to share information through community-wide education.”

Cox continued, “This confirms our commitment to environmental sustainability and partnerships with businesses and nonprofits that promote opportunities for our students, and enables us to continue to promote good stewardship of Cape Cod resources.”

Live questions from the audience are welcome during the presentation. The event is open to the public.

About Water Defense

Founded by actor and director Mark Ruffalo, Water Defense is a nonprofit organization that works to create a world where water is safe to drink, the oceans don't rise and the economy is powered by clean, sustainable sources of energy such as wind, water and solar. Water Defense works with government organizations and local communities across the nation to keep water free of oil and chemicals, and advocate for more sustainable business practices to prevent, manage and contain water contamination. To learn more, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @WaterDefense. Click here to make a donation.

Copyright Business Wire 2014