Improving our Environment One Product at a Time: BioHaven® Floating Islands

After installation, our BioHaven® Floating Islands immediately begin working to simulate nature and provide a habitat.

But, with our environmental technology, there is more than what meets the eye. While our BioHaven® Floating Islands are beautiful to look at, it’s what’s happening beneath the surface that sets us apart.

These Floating Islands are intentionally manufactured to be eco-friendly and they comprise four components:

  1. Matrix
  2. Foam for Buoyancy
  3. Vegetation
  4. Planting Medium

These four elements combine to create a dynamic and intricate process.

As the aquatic vegetation grows hydroponically, plant roots permeate the matrix area and beyond, growing into the water column. Through a process called Phytoremediation, the rooted plants eliminate and consume unwanted nutrients from the water as a food source.

The surface area of the Floating Islands is ideal for Biofilm growth, which is a sticky mixture of bacteria, fungus and algae). Within the biofilm, microbes break down harmful water pollutants such as nitrates and phosphorous, through a process called Bioremediation.

Why Choose BioHaven® Floating Islands?

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 9.14.07 AM

Vegetation grows much faster with this environmental technology because the trapped nutrients act as a fertilizer for the aquatic plants and biofilm.

The BioHaven® Floating Islands are excellent for treating nutrient-loaded waters due to the purpose of their design: to filter sediment, pollutants, nutrients and organics. They also provide a perfect surface area for natural, biochemical processes to occur.

At Martin Ecosystems, we use science, patented technology and nature to improve the environment.

If you’re looking to improve your water quality, reduce erosion, create a new habitat or restore a lost one, give us a call at 225-292-6750.

Martin Ecosystems: Who We Are

Shorelines. River banks. Marsh. Wetlands. Waterscapes. Ponds. Lakes. Vegetation.

These aspects of nature are usually noticed, but not often given deeper thought. Perhaps you see and appreciate waterscapes, but don’t find yourself wondering how they were created, how they are maintained, or what exactly is going on below the surface.

This is where we come in.

In 2008, Ted Martin founded Martin Ecosystems, LLC, and it has been family-owned and operated ever since.

Ted was raised in a small fishing village surrounded by water, so this love for water began at a young age. His love and appreciation quickly grew into a passion to protect and preserve.

As a team and family, we share his passion as well. We have a strong commitment to improve and protect the environment we live in.

Here are just a few of the many environmental challenges that exist today:

  • Poor water quality
  • Coastal land loss
  • Marsh erosion
  • Threatened habitats
  • Consumer pollution
  • Impaired water bodies

At Martin Ecosystems, our mission is to provide environmental solutions by manufacturing innovative technologies that reduce erosion, improve water quality and beautify waterscapes.

Our family has experienced coastal land loss for decades, so we recognize the problem and have spent nearly 10 years creating a way to be a part of the solution.

We are an environmental technology company that manufactures products that provide cost-effective solutions for a variety of environmental challenges including: Stormwater and Waste Water Treatment, Shoreline Protection, and Habitat Restoration.

We currently manufacture:

In the engineering of our products, we believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth’s resources – this is what makes us different from other companies.

By using a matrix material made of 100% recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic soda and water bottles to manufacture our products, we are:

  1. Reducing the amount of plastic from entering landfills
  2. Reusing post-consumer waste

Please contact us to learn more about our company, product lines and services. We would love to hear from you!

Meet the Baton Rouge Family Firm Whose Pitch Brought Home $15K from New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week

Back in 2008, Nicole Waguespack’s family founded Martin Ecosystems, a coastal restoration and protection company based in Baton Rouge. Waguespack, who worked in medical sales at the time, decided to pivot her career toward the family business, which gave her more free time and allowed her to embrace her passion of life in the marsh.

“Being in the marsh will never feel like work to me,” she tells Business Report in the latest Executive Spotlight feature from the new issue. “It is a place of relaxation and peace and a place to simply ‘be’ without distraction.”

As Louisiana’s coastline continues to erode—it’s disappearing at a rate of 16.57 square miles per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey—Martin Ecosystems’ work is never ending.

“As a small business with six employees, we all wear multiple hats,” she says. “In the last couple of months, I’ve worked on filing a patent for a new product, written a grant application, and met with the Department of Commerce representatives in New Orleans on international exporting, all of which have been new for me.” Read the full executive spotlight Q&A. 


The Kingsford® charcoal facility in Belle, Missouri, has planted an island.

belle_pond_floating-island-800x534The island, a floating wetland of organic and manmade materials, helps filter water in the plant’s recycling ponds. It’s one of the novel ways we at the Belle plant are working to reduce our environmental impact and be a good neighbor to the surrounding community.

After all, the Kingsford facility in Belle is located in rural Missouri, adjacent to farms and small towns that depend on good water quality.

Tapping the power of Mother Nature

Alert to our responsibility to Belle and surrounding communities, we decided last year to try out a new approach to filtering water in our treatment pond.

BioHaven® Floating Islands mimic natural wetlands to improve water quality without mechanical systems or chemical treatment. Rather, the plastic islands (made from BPA-free recycled plastic bottles) are planted with native vegetation. The roots of these plants extend below the island, naturally filtering nutrients and organic solids from the water.

Floating islands help to reduce total nitrogen, total suspended solids, dissolved organic carbon, certain metals and algae in the pond. Each one is roughly five feet by eight feet, and is connected to a web of other islands across the pond.

Taken together, they can also create important wetland habitat for frogs, turtles and birds. The islands help to improve the ecosystem both above and below the water line.

Improving water quality

The floating wetland island have been so effective in removing total suspended solids from the water, the Belle facility plans to install a second set of islands next spring in a separate settling pond.

Since they were planted last spring, the first set of islands has reduced total suspended solids by over 50 percent. We expect similar results with the second installation.

This natural method of treating water has the potential of becoming a best practice we can apply at other Clorox facilities.


World’s Largest Residential Floating Wetlands installed in Queensland

Fellow Floating Island Licensee, Spel Enviornmental/Water Clean installs World’s Largest Residential Floating Wetlands in Queensland, New Zealand. parklakes-2-floating-wetland-completedThe new floating treatment wetlands at Parklakes II on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast have completed installation. The 230 “living” pontoons, which will form 2 islands, will treat stormwater from 436 residential lots, a school, a retirement village and 5 hectare of lake system.

The roots of the reeds, planted on each pontoon, will draw sediment and nutrients from the water. SPEL floating wetlands has consistently achieved all the necessary bacteria counts and oxygen levels in independent scientific trials and over numerous installation sites. Great video showing the installation!

EcoShield Project Showcased in Land and Water Magazine

Plaquemines Parish hired Manchac Consulting Group to design a solution which included artificial oyster reef breakwater and the construction of 5200 feet of earthen berm on both the north and south sides of the marina entrance in front of the levee. Martin Ecosystems installed 4600 feet of EcoShield to protect the newly constructed earthen berm.

All evidence shows that the vegetated mat system is working. It is protecting the earthen berm from erosive waves by reducing wave heights while vegetation continues to spread. This is despite the early challenges of poor soil quality. Full article can be read in Land & Water Magazine.

Buras Aerial 42516 PJ 300dpi

Shoreline Stabilization Project a Great Example of Innovative Ideas

IMG_4970“There is no one single solution to addressing the problems we have. This project is a prime example of what can happen when innovative ideas are put into practice.”, said Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Chip Kline.

The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) has brought together public and private partners to create the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration Project in Lafourche Parish, LA. Using an innovative green product developed by Baton Rouge based Martin Ecosystems,  America’s WETLAND Foundation will protect 1 mile of the GIWW  in Phase I of the project, where the embankment has been eroded and tidal surges threaten fragile freshwater marshes with saltwater intrusion. The completed project will involve a total of 4 miles of protection. (Phase 2 will begin in 2016) “We are proud to tackle an important impediment to coastal restoration-shoreline creep along the GIWW,” Sidney Coffee, senior advisor of the America’s WETLAND Foundation, said. “This canal has become a virtual line of demarcation between freshwater marshes and saltwater intrusion. By embedding native vegetation for protection of the levee in recycled permeable PET plastics at a fraction the time and costs of other methods, this could be a game changer and could be replicated all along the waterway.”

The America’s WETLAND Foundation has brought together public and private partners with a variety of interest in coastal restoration efforts including Ducks Unlimited, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the State of Louisiana, and private landowners. Private landowners are always looking for cost effective solutions to protect their land from erosion. “It is our hope that this project can be replicated all along the canal through Louisiana and Texas. It is far more affordable and increases the interest of landowners to get involved.” Ted Falgout, a private landowner partner on the project said.

The innovative technology utilized is recycled plastic material called Vegetated EcoShield™ manufactured by Martin Ecosystems. “EcoShield is a matrix material manufactured using recycled PET plastic drinking bottles. By providing a protective medium for vegetation to establish, grow and spread, it enhances the natural processes of the system by creating a vegetative shoreline and important coastal habitats,” Ted Martin, owner of Martin Ecosystems, said.

Phase 1 will be completed in January 2016 with the initial funding provided by AWF, Ducks Unlimited, CITGO, Shell ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Community Coffee. Additionally, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) recently awarded $250,000.00 to the Ducks Unlimited/AWF partnership for the project’s next phase. It is anticipated that Phase II will install and additional 3 miles of EcoShield.


Floating Island research published in Water Science & Technology

ABSTRACT:  Floating Wetland Islands; Nitrogen Mass Reduction; Pasco County, Florida; Nutrient removal20150528031258971Floating wetland islands (FWIs) were tested in Pasco County Florida as a method of reducing total nitrogen (TN) in reclaimed water during reservoir storage. The Pasco County Master Reuse System (PCMRS) is a regional reclaimed water transmission and distribution system providing wastewater effluent disposal for the county. Total daily mass loading from reclaimed water is limited by nitrogen content in the PCMRS watershed. To test TN reduction efficacy, 20 FWIs were constructed, installed, and monitored in a lined pond receiving PCMRS reclaimed water. A total of 149 m2 of FWIs were installed, distributed as a connected network covering 1,122 m2, or 7% of pond area. Pond hydraulic residence time averaged 15.7 days. Treatment performance was assessed during three consecutive periods: establishment (first 6 months of grow-in), performance (8 months immediately following grow-in), and control (3 months after the FWIs were removed from the pond). The FWIs enhanced pond nitrogen removal capacity by 32%. The primary effect of the FWIs was to decrease organic nitrogen in the pond outflow. By evaluating the difference between the performance and control periods, an incremental TN removal rate for the FWIs was calculated to be 4.2 kg N/m2 FWI per year.

Floating Wetland Islands Reduce Nitrogen Mass-Abstract

Floating Wetland Islands as a Method of Nitrogen Mass Reduction- Results of a 1-Year Test-Full Paper


Vegetated EcoShield™ Receives the Endorsement of The Water Institute of the Gulf

On May 13, 2015, Martin Ecosystems received the endorsement of The Water Institute of the Gulf as part of the Coastal Innovation Partnership Program. The designation of “Endorsed” indicates that the innovation is relevant to the coastal program and the design, construction and performance measure illustrate that it is ready for implementation. This endorsement for Shoreline Protection and Bank Stabilization will be sent to Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). It is also noteworthy that Martin Ecosystems is the first applicant in the three-year history of the program to have a second innovation endorsed. Press Release

Vegetated ecoshield receives water institute endorsement

CCA Louisiana & conservation partners build “floating islands”

shoreline protection; coastal restoration; CCA Louisiana; Martin Ecosystems

Coastal Conservation Association’s Building Conservation Trust, in partnership with Shell Oil Company, Entergy, Lafourche Parish, Martin Ecosystems and local students from Holy Rosary Catholic School and Golden Meadow Middle School will join together to help rebuild the coastline off of Louisiana Highway 1 between Fourchon and Grand Isle. This event is held in honor of Earth Day 2015, which is April 22 each year.

On Friday, April 17th and Saturday April 18th, project volunteers and students from various schools, will build approximately 6,000 square feet of new wetland island habitat and place them in the water just north of LA 1.  Each 8 by 25 foot island will hold 400 plants, and will be placed end-to-end and anchored to the water bottom. Roughly 12,000 native plants, including mangrove, seashore paspalum and smooth cord grass, will be installed.  The “floating islands” technology allows these plants to take root in the water bottom while providing protection to LA 1 from the natural elements.

“Highway 1 is the only road to and from Grand Isle, and the marsh surrounding the highway has been devastated by the effects of storms and coastal erosion, leaving it very vulnerable” said Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph said.  “This project will create new marsh for the area, and provide much needed protection for the highway.  At the same, we will create great fish habitat that can be reached by shore-based anglers looking for redfish, trout, drum and other species”

This is the third project of this type spearheaded by CCA and Shell.  The first project was Phase I of the Isle deJean Charles Project in Point Aux Chene, completed in 2011.  Phase II of the Isle deJean Charles project followed in 2013.  In all, nearly 12,000 square feet of new marsh was created to helping fortify marshland that had been devastated by years of erosion and storms.  It was the first project to use this new technology, developed by Martin EcoSystems, in an open-water marine environment application.

“Shell considers Louisiana home and takes pride in its work to enhance our natural resources and protect the environment while striving to meet the growing demand for domestic energy,” said Dwight Johnston, Shell Deep Water’s Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment. “Shell is proud to partner with CCA’s La 1 Floating Islands Project, and the success of the first two projects proves that a holistic approach to protecting the environment where we work is possible.”

Funding for the project is provided by CCA Building Conservation Trust, Shell Oil Company, Entergy, Lafourche Parish, Martin Ecosystems and private donations by CCA members. The total project cost is expected to be approximately $200,000.

“This project is a perfect microcosm of what it’s going to take to build a more resilient coast – government, business and the community working hand in hand to implement innovative solutions that protect critical infrastructure and restore vital marshland,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy’s Louisiana utilities. “We owe it to our customers, our shareholders and our employees to do everything we can to improve the resilience and sustainability of our coastal communities.”

CCA and their partners have been so pleased with past project results, they decided to undertake this new challenge between Fourchon and Grand Isle.

“The results of the first effort in Point Aux Chene have been remarkable,” said CCA Louisiana Habitat Chairman John Walther.  “The islands we created there have outperformed the natural marsh, and have been more resilient to the effects of storms, two brutal winters, and continuous wave action.  The opportunity to bring this same effort to the Grand Isle area was a no-brainer for CCA.”

FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Official Press Release