Friday, September 23, 2011

Recycled plastic water bottles getting new use in coastal restoration project

Yes, another goal for treatment floating wetlands!  From local news in Louisiana:

"Bottles take up so much of our landfill and now, we can maybe use it to protect something that really needs protecting," said Nicole Waguespack, with Martin Ecosystems, a Baton Rouge-based company which developed the floating islands.
Full video at:

The islands are several inches thick and feel like brillo pads. They contain a series of holes, evenly spaced out, where marsh grasses can be planted. Each one holds between 50 to 60 plants a piece. The idea is, once the islands are anchored, the plants will grow and the roots will eventually collect sediment-- helping build new land within six months to a year.However, an unusual idea is now planting itself here. Over the next several days, 300 volunteers will work to assemble and plant floating islands, which are made out of recycled plastic water bottles.
"We'll put the islands next to those existing marshes and they will act as a buffer to protect the current existing marshes," said Buddy Boe of America's Wetland Foundation. "What we're doing is a restoration and an experiment all at the same time."
The experiment doesn't come cheap, though. They're setting up 1,500 feet of floating islands at a cost of $80 a foot. The project was funded by several organizations and through grant money obtained by Terrebonne Parish.

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