Haberland, M.1; Craig McGee2
1County Agent II (Associate Professor), Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Cherry Hill, NJ, 08002-3752
2Manager, Camden County Soil Conservation District, Berlin, NJ, 08009


Artificial floating wetlands (AFWs) offer a unique way to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in a water body using natural microbial action and obligate aquatic vegetation. Planted with the same species of macrophytes that might be grown in a land based constructed wetland, we extend the range of the vegetation out into deeper waters of a lake or pond. Using an artificial substrate, AFWs are anchored offshore in water depths that exceed the normal habitat requirements of the plant material and yet are able to continue to provide the same water treatment ecosystem services as their land based counterparts. Microbiological activity plays a major role in nutrient removal in wetland systems and the large surface area of the woven floating wetland material provides a tremendous amount of substrate for the growth of bacteria. The drawback to using AFWs is that the expense of the commercially available products makes it unlikely that they would be purchased without the funding of grant, municipal or corporate dollars. To this end, we’ve engineered a lower cost Do-it-Yourself floating wetland using layers of commercial outdoor pond biological filter media, marine foam floatation and native obligate wetland plants. This poster describes the design, materials and tools we use, and provides pond owners the information to build and install their own artificial floating wetland.

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