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Floating Treatment Wetlands: Keeping our fresh water clean and healthy

Freshwater lakes around the world, especially shallow lakes, are in trouble.

Wetlands can improve water quality of storm water runoff and manage watershed nutrients, as well as treatment of wastewater and other industrial contaminants.

Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) or islands are small artificial platforms that allow these aquatic emergent plants to grow in water that is typically too deep for them. The unique ecosystem that develops creates the potential to capture nutrients and transform common pollutants that would otherwise plague and harm our lakes into harmless byproducts.

We have just started exploring the role of FTWs in cleaning up lakes in Canada and at IISD Experimental Lakes Area.

This short, engaging storybook takes you through what FTWs are, and how they could really help us keep bodies of fresh water clean and healthy.

Floating treatment wetlands or islands are small artificial platforms that allow these aquatic emergent plants to grow in water that is typically too deep for them.