Floating Island International (FII) is a Montana based company that designs biophilic water mitigation solutions for impaired water bodies. To the average person, these “structures” might go unnoticed — partially because they look natural when compared to other water quality mechanisms. They intend to mimic the biology of the ecosystem, and are optimized to remove excess nutrients, metals and the like from the impaired waters.
Designed by a team of engineers and plant specialists, these islands mimic the function of a floating wetland. Made from post-consumer products (e.g. plastics, rubber), these man made islands allow for water to penetrate through the base, causing the unwanted particles/nutrients to “cling” to the roots of the plants above. The bacteria that live on the plants have root access — allowing bacteria to ingest the nutrients. The bacteria and plants exist in a symbiotic relationship in which they support the proliferation of the other.
FII is currently in the process of developing more efficient and effective devices. They are determining ways to measure and increase the islands’ net positive impacts within the waterbody. FII has constructed over 4,000 islands internationally, with +30 different applications of use. If you are interested in FII’s services, you can contact them through this link.
Floating Island International is one of many businesses that incorporate and mimic the natural environment. Nature has developed resilient systems that respond to reductions and inflations of ecosystem services. Designing human technology based on these principles could solve problems relating to lifespan, adaptability and life cycle design (i.e. cradle to cradle) to name a few.
More information on biophilic “natural” technologies can be found at the Biomimicry Institute.