Project Blue was a way to create a “grid” in a sandy desert ground to attract nutrients and create an underground containment field to turn sand into soil within a few years. It would improve the chances colonies had on those types of planets to become self-sufficient.
The design consisted of small cylindrical blue devices that worked together, to create the containment field. Each device needed to be squeezed on the top and bottom, until it gave a small whir and glowed bright green. The device was then buried in the sand at a shallow depth. After three or four years, the devices decomposed.
During trials, it was discovered that sand became slush after a year or so. There was conjecture that the devices may work in harder, clay like soils, but that was never tested.
The design was considered "too effective", and was put on indefinite hold.
Astrad Ukinix, a former noble of the Ninth House, had discovered that Itum Ral was having an affair with Astrad's sister Vaxa. In the process, he also stumbled across Project Blue. Just before Astrad was stripped of his title and left Betazed forever, he stole a box containing approximately 2000 of the devices, which were the only devices in existence.
After Vaxa Ral was exiled from the Ninth house, administrators performed detailed audits, in preparation for dissolving the house. In 2387, they discovered that the Project Blue prototypes were missing. Over the course of a slow decade long investigation, they eventually discovered that Astrad Ukinix was responsible for the theft.