Research Papers

At Martin Ecosystems, we know our BioHaven® Floating Islands, BioHaven® Floating Treatment Wetlands and Vegetated EcoMatrix products are able to make a significant environmental impact when deployed in a variety of settings. We continually participate in independent research efforts to test those products, compare them to alternative methods and find new applications.

We hope you’ll take time to review the research papers below to learn more about these testing efforts and discover potential applications for your next project. For additional information about any of these research projects, please contact us.

 

Assessment of Effect of EcoShield™ on Erosion Protection - Download PDF

Louisiana is in the forefront of a battle with land loss due to continuous erosion along the coast, particularly the barrier islands. About forty percent of the US wetland is in Louisiana and about 80% of the US land loss is from Louisiana. This is further complicated by the climate change that potentially brings higher sea level, leading to more exposure of the wetland to ocean forcing. As a result, an effective engineering approach of protecting the coast against the land loss is greatly needed. With the innovation of EcoShield™ (patent pending) by the Martin Ecosystems, such an approach is quickly becoming close to reality.

"Floating Wetland Islands as a Method of Nitrogen Mass Reduction Results of a 1-Year Test", Vazquez-Burney, Bays, Messer, Harris, Water Science & Technology (2015) - Download PDF

ABSTRACT:  Floating 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, twenty 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 percent 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 percent. 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.

Evaluating the Efficacy of an Artificial Floating Island as Fish Habitat in the Chicago River: A Pilot Study - Download PDF

Over the last century and a half, the Main Stem and parts of the North and South Branches of the Chicago River have been dredged and channelized for several reasons, including to facilitate the flow of water (effluent, floodwater, etc.), to accommodate for the movement of barges, to allow for easy maintenance, and to prevent erosion (Solzman 2001). A challenge now is finding a practical solution to mitigate the loss of habitat and the lack of riverbank vegetation, which has resulted from the channelization. This study sought to address a gap in the research by determining the efficacy of artificial floating islands (AFIs) as fish habitat in the Chicago River.

 

Wave Transmission Testing of Martin Ecosystems BioHaven® Floating Breakwater - Download PDF

Comprehensive physical modeling of the Martin Ecosystems BioHaven® Floating Breakwater (BFB), without vegetation, was performed in the University of South Alabama’s wave basin research facility. The testing, analysis, and report development was lead by Dr. Bret M. Webb, Ph.D., P.E. with assistance from Dr. Jon D. Risinger, Ph.D.

The purpose of the reduced scale modeling was to measure wave attenuation by the BFB and to report wave transmission coefficients for a range of wave and water level conditions across four unique experimental treatments.

NEW RESEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT: Mississippi State University-Using Floating Island Stream Beds to Reduce Cultural Eutrophication and Improve Habitat - Download PDF

Drs. J. Wesley Neal and Robert Kroger of Mississippi State University will research the efficacy of BioHaven® Floating Island Stream Beds for reducing nutrients, improving water quality, and increasing fish habitat. Please contact us for more information.

“Constructed Wetlands with Floating Emergent Macrophytes: An Innovative Stormwater Treatment Technology.” T. Headly & C. Tanner, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology (2012) - Download PDF

The treatment of urban stormwater poses numerous technical and operational challenges, particularly due to the intermittent and highly variable nature of hydrologic and pollutant inputs. Floating emergent macrophyte treatment wetlands (FTWs) are a hybridization of ponds and wetlands that offer potential advantages for treatment…

“A Mesocosm Study of Floating Island Environmental Solution BioHaven for Nutrient Removal in Stormwater Ponds.” N.B. Chang and M. Wanielista, Stormwater Management Academy-Univ. of Central Florida (2012) - Download PDF

In Florida, stormwater retention and detention ponds are widely used to provide water quality treatment as well as flood and downstream erosion control. Wet pond (also called wet detention pond) retains water all the time. On the other hand, detention pond (also called dry pond, dry detention basin) temporarily detains the water and will drain shortly after the storm events. However, excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, flow into the wet detention ponds with surface runoff and lead to environmental concerns such as surface water eutrophication and groundwater/springwater contamination. The resulting overgrowth of algae or invasive plants can adversely affect ecosystems.

“ Floating Wetland Systems for Nutrient Removal in Stormwater Ponds-Summary of Final Report.” M. Wanielista, N.B. Chang, & M. Chopra, Stormwater Management Academy-Univ. of Central Florida (2012) - Download PDF

Wet detention ponds are frequently used in stormwater management systems as part of a treatment train for attenuation of flow and removal of pollutants. Wet detention ponds designed and operated according to commonly used standards and specifications remove nutrients but the removal of nitrogen has remained low, about 30-40% concentration reduction on a yearly basis. A Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) composed of selected plants suspended in a wet detention pond was proposed in this research to improve the removal of nutrients before discharge from a pond.

 

“Floating Wetland Systems for Nutrient Removal in Stormwater Ponds.” M. Wanielista, N.B. Chang, M. Chopra, Z.Xuan, K. Islam, & Z. Marimon, Stormwater Management Academy-Univ. of Central Florida (2012) - Download PDF

Wet detention ponds are frequently used in stormwater management systems as part of a treatment
train for attenuation of flow and removal of pollutants. Wet detention ponds designed and operated
according to commonly used standards and specifications remove nutrients but the removal of
nitrogen has remained low, about 30-40% concentration reduction on a yearly basis. A Floating
Treatment Wetland (FTW) composed of selected plants suspended in a wet detention pond was
proposed in this research to improve the removal of nutrients before discharge from a pond.

“Evaluating Plant Growth on Artificial Floating Islands Over Four Growing Seasons.” V. Moreira, B. Leblanc, E. Achberger, R. Sheffield, K.J. Han, L. Zeringue, & C. Leonardi, Louisiana State University AgCenter (2012) - Download PDF

There are currently less than 150 medium and small dairy operations (116 cows per operation) in Louisiana. The majority of which are located in two Parishes (Tangipahoa and Washington) on Lake Pontchartrain’s North Basin. Mostly grazing operations (~90%), wastewater from the milking shed and adjacent areas is the only waste accumulated in those farms.

“Evaluation of Floating Wetland Islands (FWIs) as a Retrofit to Existing Stormwater Detention Basins.” W. Hunt, R. Winston, S. Kennedy, North Carolina State University (2012) - Download PDF

The purpose of the project was to evaluate a retrofit of wet ponds, Floating Wetland Islands (FWIs) for potential widespread use in Nutrient-sensitive watersheds of Central North Carolina, namely Jordan Lake and Falls Lake. FWIs are a hydroponic system that when fully vegetated are essentially wetlands that float on the surface of open water. FWIs are a particularly attractive…

“Improving Multi-Stage Wastewater Treatment System Effectiveness Evaluating Plant Growth on Artificial Floating Islands Over Two Growing Seasons-Preliminary Results.” V. Moreira, B. Leblanc, E. Achberger, R. Sheffield, K.J. Han, L. Zeringue, & C. Leonardi - Download PDF

Earthen basin lagoons are typically used to store and treat waste in dairy operations in the United States. In Louisiana dairy operations, it is often uneconomical to land-apply that waste mainly because of nutrients high dilution rates (Westra et al., 2010). Anaerobic lagoons are designed to reduce oxygen demand and solids…

“Components of Floating Emergent Macrophyte Treatment Wetlands Influencing Removal of Stormwater Pollutants.” C. Tanner and T. Headly, Ecological Engineering (2011) - Download PDF

Floating treatment wetlands planted with emergent macrophytes (FTWs) provide an innovative option for treating urban stormwaters. Emergent plants grow on a mat floating on the water surface, rather than rooted in the bottom sediments. They are therefore able to tolerate the wide fluctuations in water depths…

“Plant Management Strategy for Maximizing Sustainable Nutrient Removal in Floating Islands.” M. Bateman, (2010) - Download PDF

The subject of this white paper is the removal of nutrients via floating treatment wetlands, and in particular, the removal pathways and the fate of removed nutrients. There is a persistent notion that in order for floating treatment wetlands to be effective, the standing crop of biomass must be routinely harvested and removed. This is based in part, on the perception…

“Floating Vegetated Islands for Stormwater Treatment-Removal of Copper, Zinc, and Fine Particulates.” T. Headly & C. Tanner, Auckland Regional Council (2009) - Download PDF

The removal of Copper (CU) and Zinc (ZN) from urban stormwater has been identified as a priority by the Auckland Regional Council in order to mitigate damages to aquatic ecosystems in receiving waters. Although effective at removing coarse suspended solids, conventional stormwater treatment ponds have a limited ability to remove dissolved metals…

“Floating Treatment Wetlands-An Innovative Solution to Enhance Removal of Fine Particulates, Copper and Zinc.” C. Tanner, T. Headly, The NZWWA Journal (2008). - Download PDF

Reduction of metals, particularly copper and zinc, in urban stormwater has been identified as a priority to protect the health of aquatic ecosystems in the Auckland Region (Auckland Regional Council, 2004). Floating treatment wetlands (FTW), employing emergent plants growing on a mat floating on the water surface, rather than rooted in the bottom sediments, provide an innovative option for treating urban stormwaters.

“Floating Treatment Wetlands: A New Tool for Nutrient Management in Lakes and Waterways.” C. Tanner, J. Sukias, J. Park, C. Yates, and T. Headly, NIWA (2005) - Download PDF

Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) employing emergent aquatic plants growing on a buoyant mat are an innovative new tool for nutrient management in ponds, lakes and slow- flowing waters. Plant roots grow through the floating mat…