Floating Wetland Treatments to Enhance Remediation
Environmental impacts of oil spills are a major public concern, impeding social license for the development of the petroleum sector and Canada’s economic development. Furthermore, there is uncertainty around the best methods to employ when cleaning oil spills in sensitive freshwater ecosystems.
The IISD-Experimental Lakes Area has begun a large, collaborative and multi-phased program to: a) determine the effectiveness of non-mechanical and biological methods for cleaning spilled oil from freshwater aquatic environments, and b) develop non-lethal and minimally invasive monitoring techniques to measure oil exposure and recovery in aquatic wildlife populations. FLOWTER builds upon this program in order to: i) optimize Engineered Floating Wetlands (EFWs) to enhance the associated rhizome microbiome to achieve rapid oil degradation, and ii) validate fin clips and mucus swabs as non-invasive biological assessment tools for monitoring cleanup performance.