Citizen scientists create DIY floating islands
By Ernesto Lasso de la Vega
Citizens of the Venice Garden Civic Association Lakes Group (aka The Lakes Group) have taken
upon themselves to beautify the stormwater pond in their Southwest Florida neighborhood. With the
help of a
FLMS Love Your Lakes Shoreline Grant Program, the residents were able to purchase
plants to protect the shoreline in places where erosion and lack of vegetation has jeopardized their
In addition, plants and materials were also used to construct a prototype
“do-it-yourself” floating island. This island will work as a
filtration unit for the excess nutrients present in the water and will
generate more plants as they overpopulate the island. These plants
will then find their place as new shoreline plantings where homeowners
have accepted the responsibility and desire to enhance
their littoral zone.
The civic association has invested over 63 hours of work, showing
other communities that their efforts have paid off. Birds have been
spotted nesting in these areas, flowering plants have beautified the
shore and the community is expecting the water quality to improve.
Citizen scientists will continue to monitor the pond with
measurements of turbidity in the water using a Secchi disc.
Editor’s note: Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, Pond Watch Coordinator for the Lee County Hyacinth Control District, continues to work with the homeowners,
providing education and guidance for their project. He will be creating a short video at the end of
the project. Stay tuned!