This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S…

This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S...


For more than a century the Gowanus Canal in New York City has been the victim of extreme pollution. It’s notorious for being one of the most polluted waterways in all of the U.S., thanks to sewage runoff, waste disposal, and industrial pollution from gas plants, chemical plants and paper mills.

The situation is so dire, it earned Gowanus a spot on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of superfund sites – eligible for a $500 million cleanup plan that is to be completed by 2022. In the meantime, another smaller project is underway and it’s proving to be quite successful. The project is called GrowOnUs and it takes the form of a floating green oasis…

This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S...



This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S...

GrowOnUs, an experiment in floating infrastructure, is a garden made up of 30 different plant species that act as sponges to mitigate the chemicals in the water. The plants are grown inside metal culvert pipes and made buoyant by eco-friendly construction materials such as recycled plastic bottles, coconut fibres and bamboo…

This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S...

Plants atop the floating island include seaside goldenrod, smooth cordgrass, sumac and swamp rose mallow. According to Takepart, the plants interact with the canal water and improve it through a process called phytoremediation, which is the treatment of environmental issues through the use of plants that can rid of pollutants without having to dispose of them elsewhere. The environment beneath the island is substrate for mussels, which act as cleaners in dirty water…

This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S...

The floating garden is the work of Balmori Associates, a New York landscape and design firm, and was made possible with the help of a $20,000 grant from the Cornelia & Michael Bessie Foundation. According to GoodNewsNetwork, three previous attempts had been made to produce vegetation in the water, but the pollution was too harmful to the plants. The new garden – thanks to tougher and more conditioned greenery – is thriving…

This Tiny Floating Garden Is Successfully Cleaning The Most Polluted Waterway In The U.S...

Currently, only plants cover the floating garden, but there is hope that it could one day be used to grow herbs and food crops (via ThePlaidZebra).

If you like this idea, be sure to share it with your friends and inspire someone you know. Anything becomes possible with just a little inspiration…



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(8) comments

Kerry Lacroix Ali Richardson Michael Grosvenor Charlie Stewart

Reply

Who would want to eat herb and food crops grown in this polluted water?

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    The plants are not for eating…they are to simply help clean the water and provide shelter for the mussels that are also cleaning the water.

    Reply

    I was referring to the article.

    Reply

Have them in our Civic Center lagoon. Great idea!

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Water Hyacinths, mostly considered a nuisance because they grow so prolific, can also help filter toxins. Maybe New York City could try using them.

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This is one of my favorite FB sites. And this post encapsulates what can be done with a little bit of knowledge and only a little bit of money!!!

Reply

The article on Wikkelhouse is interesting too.

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