Floating Island – Man Made Wetlands

This project will be working with the parks department in order to plan, construct and implement man made wetlands (“Floating Islands”) on lake Temescal in Oakland. In the last year alone, all of the lakes within a 30 mile radius of Berkeley have had toxic algae blooms at least once. Non-toxic algae blooms create sheets of algae inches thick that block sunlight from reaching plants in the water, along with not allowing the water to be oxygenated (fish need oxygen). This effectively creates dead-zones in the water where nothing can live! These blooms can also spontaneously turn toxic and release a neurotoxin, which has already killed multiple dogs in the area! These blooms are created by the perfect storm of lots of sunlight, fertilizer in the water and not enough rain (sounds a lot like California right?). These blooms can even happen multiple times a year… BUT WE CAN HELP!! We will be creating floating wetlands that will make a real impact in reducing the algae in the lake in the next few years.

The goal of this project is to build a floating wetland on take Temescal in Oakland CA, in order to remediate the toxic algal blooms that happen there. These blooms are harmful to both the fish and plants that live on the lake, as well as humans who use the lake for recreation purposes. The Wetlands will help by removing the excess nutrients from the water, which the algae feeds on. Was worked on around Fall 2018.

Project Leader: T.G. Roberts (t.g.roberts@berkeley.edu)