In 2013 and again in 2017, the Green Futures Lab conducted seminars on floating wetlands. Students surveyed floating wetlands literature and precedents, investigated their benefits for habitat, stormwater cleansing and water temperature regulation, and then developed new design concepts for several freshwater locations. Each site’s biological parameters drove the designs. Carrying the momentum of the first seminar, students designed, built and installed 360 square feet of floating wetlands to provide shade and habitat in a Redmond, WA wetland. A student leader continued to monitor the results, and also to design, build, and monitor additional prototypes with support from the GFL, King County, and the Society of Wetland Scientists. Students in the 2017 seminar designed and constructed prototypes of floating wetlands for six sites in the Lake Washington Ship Canal, specifically to exclude predators and provide refuge for out-migrating juvenile salmon. With a grant from the UW Campus Sustainability fund, the GFL is investigating the feasibility of using such floating habitat structures to replace lost shoreline habitat along the critical Ship Canal corridor.
Studies from the 2013 seminar are summarized in Floating Wetlands Research and Design Investigations, Volumes I + II.