The Charles River Floating Wetland was installed in 2020 to enable important research on artificial wetland technology. The pilot project met both climate resilience goals and created connections to the Charles River. Learn about the success of this pilot from the Charles River Conservancy and help design a look into the future by creating a vision for additional wetlands in the Charles.
314 Main Street
The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) strives to make the Charles River and its parks a well-maintained network of natural urban places that invite and engage all in their use and stewardship. The CRC engages in ecological initiatives that support the river’s health, provides educational programs for communities to increase their understanding and knowledge of the river’s ecosystem, and creates recreational opportunities to support fun and emotional connections to the Charles.
The Charles River Floating Wetland initiative embodies the CRC’s mission, boldly exploring an ecological intervention to reduce harmful algal blooms in the Charles, which threaten the river’s health and limit the feasibility of swimming. Reducing nutrient pollution from reaching the river remains a vital method for preventing blooms, but this approach depends on increasingly complex upland solutions. In-stream interventions like floating wetlands offer a complementary strategy that can absorb and remove nutrients from the water, increase biodiversity, support local ecological changes, and provide other co-benefits, like additional green space. The floating wetland is located in the Charles River along Cambridge Parkway, just downriver of the Longfellow Bridge near the mouth of the Broad Canal.