EPA Testing Use of Floating Vegetated Islands to Remove Excess Nutrients from Water

Harmful algal blooms—the overgrowth of algae in water—are a major problem across the nation. Blooms occur when excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), combine with sunlight, and warm temperatures in water bodies. They can cause severe, negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems, the economy, and human health.

EPA is working with Chemehuevi and Colorado River Indian Tribes to research ways to eliminate or reduce the negative effects of harmful algal blooms. In an ongoing study, EPA and its tribal partners are evaluating the effectiveness of man-made floating vegetated islands to remove nutrients from the water along Lake Havasu and the Colorado River, within the tribes’ reservations.

Early monitoring has shown promise—researchers found that two months after launching, the floating vegetated islands reduced the nutrient concentration to a safe level.  The study demonstrates the potential of using native plants and floating islands to reduce nutrients—useful tools in alleviating harmful algal blooms in water.

Read the full story here.

Source: EPA Science Matters

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