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Floating Islands


One of the conceptual elements of the proposed project includes a demonstration area of "biohaven floating islands," with the intent of looking at algae reduction and creating wildlife habitat.

For those unfamiliar with this term, a BioHaven floating island mimics natural floating wetland systems. BioHavens can do the following:

1. Remove pollutants from a waterway, including nitrates, phosphates, ammonia and heavy metals
2. Provide critical riparian edge habitat - in fact, new land mass for use by all kinds of creatures, from microbes to humans
3. Mine nutrient loads from any waterway and reduce algae blooms
4. Sequester carbon and other greenhouse gases
5. Provide wave mitigation and erosion control
6. Beautify a waterscape and can be used as floating flower or produce gardens.

The islands range in size, are low-cost ($750 to $7500 plus plants) and fairly easy to install (4-5 people 3-5 hours).

The opportunity also exists to provide additional revenue streams for businesses as well as local job opportunities. The work would include dock retrofits and pier structures, local plant cultivation, floating island assembly and installation, and solar panel and pump installations. 

More information can be found at

Inspired by the simplicity and relatively low costs, various county agencies, property and resort owners are now ready to develop a pilot project to test out the theory. With the loss of 80% of wetlands on Clear Lake over the past century, this is the means for individuals who enjoy nature and the waterfront, to make a difference.

Plans are underway to develop a pilot program, which we anticipate would include a small island in Clearlake, one in Clearlake Oaks, and a dock retrofit. The test program would also include criteria for evaluating the success of the islands in improving water quality and habitat.

While several organizations are actively pursuing grants, this takes time. The Clarks Island Sustainability Initiative (CISI) group is looking for alternate funding sources and participants. To date, we have raised $5700 towards the project, which has been approved by the Lake County Board of Supervisors. They have additionally approved funding of a small kayak dock/launch which will demonstrate a dock-retrofit.

Our first Floating Island has been launched!
On November 13, our 150sf island was assembled, planted with cattails and launched. It is currently in position between the Tower Mart dock and the Clarks Island bridge. Two 300-350 lb anchors keep it in position. Our 150 sf island has been built from 2,250 recycled plastic bottles.

Want to get involved? Sign up to donate, to participate, or to keep informed!

For more information, feel free to contact:

Holly Harris/Chuck Lamb - - 998-0135
Denise Rushing - - 263-2368
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