Floating Wetlands In Ausable Channel

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority is launching a pilot project in the Old Ausable Channel today to introduce more wetlands into the area.

Wetlands Specialist Angela Van Niekerk explains a team of volunteers has constructed two portable wetland rafts out of plastic pop bottles, wire to hold cedar frames in place, and burlap with coconut fibre to act as soil.

Wetland plants are planted on the rafts and the roots of those plants will grow through the raft and down into the water. As they grow, they will remove extra nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from the water.

Van Niekerk adds the plants will be harvested in the fall so the nutrients can’t be returned to the water and next year they’ll start growing again. They are hoping the rafts and plants will create a measurable reduction of nutrients in the water.