PHYTOREMEDIATION WITH FLOATING GARDENS & RINGS
Starting small – planned activities
We are raising funds to construct floating gardens and floating rings to strengthen Lake Atitlán’s natural defense system against nutrients and pathogens, starting in Santiago bay. The protective bay entrance means that high winds and waves are rarer here than in other areas of the lake, so there is a calm environment for aquaculture. The floating gardens and rings will consume nutrients from the commercial tilapia farms that pollute the bay and from Santiago Atitlán, one of the largest towns on the lake. We will plant both nutrient absorbing plants and produce.
We work with local organic farmers, who will help us construct the floating gardens and rings, maintain them using cayucos (the traditional wooden canoe), and harvest vegetables from the gardens for their own use.
This project can be scaled up at very low cost. The floating gardens construction method that we will use (known as the ‘spiral islands’ method) creates very stable structures that can withstand storms and waves. These gardens have been constructed on the ocean, so they would work anywhere on Lake Atitlán. Floating gardens and floating rings would provide a constant nutrient absorption ‘service’ to the lake, so there could never be too many of them.
Budget (5 floating gardens + 25 floating rings)
Total: US$ 10,000
Raised so far: US$ 0
5 x US$ 1,000 for construction supplies for the floating gardens
25 x US$ 200 for construction supplies for the floating rings
Why we need your help
We cannot sit back and wait for the authorities and power-brokers to take action. The money that should be there to prevent the impending environmental devastation in the Atitlán basin simply is not – not from government, and not from big international donors.
So we depend on people like you to support remediation efforts. We are applying for small grants for all our planned projects, but this takes time and as a new organization it is difficult to get our first project grant. We sustain the tul reforestation campaign week-to-week through individual donations.
The communities of Lake Atitlán are ready to take action. Their health and livelihoods depend on the lake, and they are already living with the environmental consequences of decades of disinformation, corruption, and neglect. By working together and enlisting the help of a global community of people who care about our Mother Earth, we can save Lake Atitlán.
Read about our other projects
Learn more about threats to Lake Atitlán
What are the main sources of contamination?
What are the worst effects of contamination?
Learn more about natural, low-cost, proven solutions