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BSA News

Jul 13, 2020

Installation update: The Floating Wetland has Launched

2020 07 01 FW F

Floating Wetlands in the Charles River

Photo courtesy Charles River Conservancy

The BSA is proud to share that after years of development, the Floating Wetland has been deployed in the Charles River. The Charles River Floating Wetland explores an ecological intervention to reduce harmful algal blooms in the Charles, which threaten the river’s health and limit the feasibility of swimming.

This project, led by the Charles River Conservancy, Northeastern University, and Foth, is supported by the BSA Foundation and was piloted with the Biomatrix model featured in the 2018 BSA exhibition NatureStructure.

The Charles River Floating Wetland

The Charles River Floating Wetland is a pilot project exploring an ecological approach to reducing harmful cyanobacteria blooms. Learn more about the project by watching this introductory video!

Reducing nutrient pollution remains a vital method for preventing blooms, but this approach depends on increasingly complex solutions. Ecological interventions, like the floating wetland, offer an alternative and complementary strategy. Experiments have shown that for water bodies like the Charles, algal blooms can be understood as a symptom of a broken food chain. This project aims to strengthen the missing link–zooplankton populations–by providing additional wetland habitat.

The CRC will use the wetland to help the public understand the ecology of the river and ways that we can help make it a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. Over the next two years, a Northeastern research team will study whether this additional wetland habitat could help reduce harmful cyanobacteria blooms by balancing the local food chain.

Check out the project’s Storyboard, made possible by the Sasaki Foundation, for additional information and go in-depth with the science behind the initiative on the project’s research website.

Learn more and follow the project here.