On Saturday, May 28th, the Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) will install two 650-square-feet floating treatment wetland systems, the Taiga Wetlands, in Seattle’s Green Lake, just west of Duck Island.
These floating islands, supplied by Biomatrix Water in Scotland, are engineered, vegetated rafts made of natural or inert materials that mimic floating bog mats. Root systems of the planted vegetation extend deep into the water and become covered with a biofilm that takes nutrients and other pollutants from the water, improving water quality by reducing the nutrient supply for phytoplankton growth, and hence reducing algae blooms.
In 2018, FOGL received a large donation in memory of Taiga Brant Hinckley, and selected the floating wetland project to best represent Taiga’s interest in protecting lake water quality and wildlife habitat. After obtaining support from Seattle Parks and Recreation and receiving a Hydraulic Project Approval permit from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), FOGL then applied for, and won, a $50,000 Seattle Neighborhoods Matching Fund grant in 2021.
The Duck Island location was selected because it provides the best habitat for native birds, which is FOGL’s primary environmental objective. At this location, the Taiga Wetlands will also function to sequester nutrients from the lake for uptake by the plants and, more importantly, the thick microbial biofilm growth on the plant roots, supporting a diverse macroinvertebrate community and fish habitat. Educational signage and continued maintenance will be provided by FOGL.
Learn more about the Taiga Wetlands and how to get involved at https://friendsofgreenlake.org/taiga-wetlands/ or follow on Instagram at @friendsofgreenlake.