Santa Cruz researchers hope planting mushrooms will protect environment after wildfires

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Researchers in Santa Cruz are experimenting with a new method to protect the environment in the aftermath of wildfires.

The non-profit Co-Renewel says oyster mushrooms have the ability to break down chemicals found in the ashes of items destroyed by fires.

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Those chemicals can leak into waterways, harming the ecosystem.

Co-Renewel plans to use mushroom-filled tubes to help filter and bio-degrade toxic debris throughout burn zones in California.

"Our goal is to help develop methods that can be useful in future fires at preventing toxic debris from going into waterways," says Maya of Co-Renewal.

They are conducting the study at the site of last year's CZU Lightning Complex Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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