C+S April 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 4 (web)

neered for added buoyancy and stability, allowing employees to stand on the edge of the wetland without it swamping. Cavities within the PET were filled with spray-applied closed cell marine foam, and care- fully spaced in linear strips to not interfere with plantings. As the PET colonizes with biological material overtime and void space reduces, the wetland becomes more stable and improves its ability to support live loads and wave loads. The resilient wetland is designed to accommodate FEMA 100-year flood levels, resist winds, waves, and currents. Additionally, it can sup- port 40 pounds-per-square-foot of live loads, has a service life of 30 years with minimal maintenance, and can withstand the catastrophic loss of a pontoon’s buoyancy without structural failure. Four years after initial installation, the floating wetland prototype’s success has brought the National Aquarium’s vision of developing a large-scale version one step closer to reality. The man-made living shoreline ecosystem has attracted native species while improving wa- ter quality and providing visitors a unique perspective of the salt marsh habitat and its critical role in the health of the Chesapeake Bay’s eco- system. It has successfully attracted native fish, reptiles, crustaceans, mollusks, and birds seeking food and shelter. The Aquarium continues to perform water quality monitoring, root system analysis, and core sampling to measure how much nitrogen is being removed, doing their part to sustainably improve the Inner Harbor.


April 2021


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