Friday, August 6, 2021

A Rare Sighting of a Floating Wetland in Charles River!

 Did you know that Floating Wetlands are man-made with any kind of plant? Floating wetlands add beauty and interest to your pond while allowing you to grow a variety of wetland marsh plants. The plant roots grow down into the water, improving the water quality and providing habitat for wildlife. Once planted, these floating islands are much easier to care for than terrestrial gardens, and you’ll never have to water them and they are gardens that float on the surface of the water and in these floating pond islands you can plant kind of plants except for trees and shrubs. they make a beautiful addition to any pond you encounter. As the plant roots grow beneath the island, they absorb excess nutrients from fertilizer runoff, animal wastes and other sources. Removing these nutrients from the water reduces the incidence of algae, fish kills and choking weeds. The water beneath a floating wetland is cool and shady, providing habitat for fish and other beneficial organisms.  Floating wetlands are small artificial platforms that allow aquatic emergent plants to grow in water that is typically too deep for them. Their roots grow down into the water creating dense columns with lots of surface area. Not only do the plants take up nutrients and contaminants themselves, the plant roots and floating mat material provide extensive surface area for microbes to grow, forming a slimy layer of biofilm. The biofilm is where the majority of nutrient uptake and degradation occurs in a floating wetland system. The shelter provided by the floating mat also allows sediment and elements to settle by reducing turbulence and mixing by wind and wave action. The unique ecosystem that develops creates the potential to capture nutrients and transform common pollutants that would otherwise plague and harm our lakes into harmless byproducts. Not only do floating wetlands treat and purify our fresh water supply, but they also create important habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates by giving them cover, shade, and cooler water temperatures in an aquatic environment that would typically be comparable to a desert lacking vegetation and canopy cover. Floating wetlands work in various freshwater systems such as stormwater ponds, wastewater lagoons, and landfill leachate ponds. Charles River is an 80-mile long river in eastern Massachusetts and got its name from a explorer who went by the name John Smith, in 1614, the explorer, soldier, and entrepreneur Captain John Smith of England found his way into the Great Bay and named the river that emptied into it after the reigning King Charles I.

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