CEO Explains How Floating Islands Can Restore Water

Bruce Kania, guest speaker at Sheridan College Wednesday night. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Nutrient pollution is depleting oxygen from waterways around the world, but the process can be reversed.

That was the message of Bruce Kania Wednesday night in a program at Sheridan College. Kania is CEO of Floating Island International, a company that creates floating islands to restore health to oxygen-depleted waterways around the world. Kania explained how that can happen.

An increase in fish and invertebrates leads to more consumption of nutrients, and Kania said phosphorus is a particular target. He said orthophosphate fertilizers contain too much phosphorus, which can find its way into waterways, and he said 80 percent of the nutrient load in the waterways is from agriculture.

Kania's company, which is based in Montana, provided the floating islands that were installed in Holly Ponds in Sheridan this past summer to deal with the problems of algae and mosquitoes. He showed photos taken of Holly Ponds showing the algae on the ponds' surface, and photos taken since that show no algae. The pond is stocked with minnows that eat mosquito larvae.

Kania said today 7,000 floating islands have been installed around the world. He said the islands can maximize fish production, and fish are the best way to get nutrients out of the water.

View another photo below.

Bruce Kania, CEO of Floating Island International. (Photo by Pat Blair)