beemats floating wetlands

MERRITT RIDGE STORMWATER TREATMENT AREA

Brevard County, Florida

This salt influenced pond is located on Merritt Island, between the Indian River and the Banana River, two estuaries in east central Florida.  It is an arrowhead shaped, 6.68 acre stormwater treatment area, with multiple inputs but only one outfall location. We conducted a one year experiment in an effort to determine whether circulating nutrient rich water from deeper areas around a floating wetland would increase nutrient uptake and biomass production. 

​We installed a square boom with 8,448 square ft. of floating wetlands attached, surrounding a SolarBee 10,000 water circulator in one arm of the pond. The SolarBee pulled water from mid-depth and near the bottom within an area approximately 3 acres around the floating wetland and distributed about 10,000 gallons/minute to the shallow root zone. As a control, an identical boom, with 8,448 square ft. of floating wetlands was positioned in  the other arm of the pond, without a water circulator. After 12 months, all of the biomass was harvested from each wetland installation, weighed and samples were taken to ENCO Lab for nutrient composition analysis. 

The wetland surrounding the SolarBee circulator produced 30 % more biomass than the control and the plants in the experimental wetland took up 2.3 times as much nitrogen and 3 times as much phosphorus as the control wetland.