From the Error Zone re: Floating Plant Beds

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 13 May 1996 12:27:47 U
From: "Andresen Ted" <andresen_ted at space_honeywell.com>
Subject: Floating plant beds for wildlife?
To: "aquatic plants" <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>


I'm looking for help from anyone who may have built, used or deployed floating
aquatic plant beds.  I would like to use them to support waterfowl in urban


For too many years I have been experimenting with floating nest boxes and
roosting platforms in St Petersburg, Florida.  Through accident I've developed
a "single-family" nest box format* that works well with urban Moorhens,
Mallards and Mottled Ducks.  On the larger roosting platforms**, I've been able
to support small trees (pond apples and mangroves) and vines (wedellia (sp?)). 
At one lake, the owner sprayed and killed all the shoreline vegetation.  This
leaves little supporting habitat for the waterfowl.  I like to mitigate this
loss by building a floating aquatic plant bed.  Of course, I'd like to avoid
some of the time consuming errors involved in selecting plant types, densities
and the construction characteristics for the floating bed***.

Does anyone have any experience in floating aquatic plant beds or know of
someone who has done work in this area?


Ted Andresen

tandresen at space_honeywell.com

*     The trick is to cover the nest cavity with lots of vegetation.

**    The 4'x4' plywood islands use four inverted HDPE 5-gal containers as
floatation.  The plants are contained in "wet" flower pots placed in holes in
the plywood.

***   As a first try, I was going to stretch a 5'x8' cheap blue plastic awning
like a trampoline inside a frame of floating 2" PVC pipes.  (The piping would
give me about 40 lb. of floatation.)  Then, I would glue plastic screening to
the awning (for traction), cover the awning and screening with 1" of soil,
plant pickerel weeds and bulrushes in the soil and anchor the entire system
about 10' from shore.