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Floating Garden Cleans As It Grows In One of Most Polluted Waterways In US

The Gowanus Canal in New York City is notorious for being one of the most polluted waterways in the U.S. Imagine everyone’s surprise when, three weeks ago, an oasis of pure greenery sprouted atop the surface of the river.

Not only is this improbable garden a breathtaking sight on the brackish water, but it is also cleaning the stream as it blooms.

The project, called GrowOnUs, is an experiment in “floating infrastructure” that utilizes a process called phytoremediation to tidy up the murky canal. Over 30 different kinds of plants act as sponges to purify, desalinate, and mitigate the chemicals affecting the waterway.

GrowOnUs, ideally, will deliver a positive change in shoreline protection, wildlife activity, and financial income for the city. It could also become the next wave in locally-grown food.

“We have pioneered floating landscapes, we now want to learn what can make these floating structures financially sustainable” said Balmori in a press release. “Dr. Michael Balick at the New York Botanical Garden suggested we grow herbs, low maintenance crops.”

“In a few years NYC restaurants may be serving meals and drinks infused with herbs [and fruits] grown on one of these islands.”

(via Floating Garden Cleans As It Grows In The Most Polluted Waterway in US)


Diana Balmori Explains GrowOnUs Water-Cleaning Garden on Gowanus

Taking the plunge into the toxic Gowanus Canal: Lenny Speregen and John D’Aquino at TEDxGowanus