“The new floating islands are already a hit with wildlife. Seen on or around the islands are killdeer, spotted sandpiper, teal, mallard and Canada goose, frogs, turtles and muskrats.”
- John Schweizer, Citizens for Conservation
Barrington, Ill. (USA)
“As you may recall we had a number of issues with our ponds here at the zoo ranging from a total lack of clarity to loss of inhabitants such as turtles and water fowl. The water in the lower pond was so poor it actually turned dark purple. Zoos are to be leaders in conservation matters such as protecting our natural resources so this was more than a little concerning to our staff and myself.
Thankfully for us you and your amazing islands came along. In a matter of a few months the water clarity did a complete turn around. For the first time in several years we could actually see the bottom of the ponds and this summer we once again have turtles calling the ponds home as well as nesting water fowl. This is exciting to the staff as well as our visitors whom recall not being able to see the bottom of the pond.
The islands offer so many benefits to the zoo I don’t know where to begin. My staff spends little to no maintenance time on the ponds where before they were having to drain, clean and refill at least once a month (which still didn’t result in restoring wildlife to the ponds). We also noted a benefit in the cleanliness of our paved trails around the ponds as the water fowl are no longer spending all their time on the trails but are now happily occupying the islands (so our staff no longer spends each week power washing the paved trails). The largest benefit to our zoo is the conservation message we are able to share in the restoration of a wetland, which once again offers a home to wildlife.
Being able to watch the transformation of the ponds was so exciting and having it done in a natural way without the need for chemicals is something we want to continue. We look forward to a long relationship with you as you are committed to the protection, preservation and restoration of our natural resources which is part of our mission and together I know we can make a difference.”
- Jackie Worstell, Executive Director, ZooMontana
Billings, Mont. (USA)
“I have been waiting for this for twenty years!”
- Bernie Masters, frmr Member of Parliament and environmental consultant
“We have some exciting news to report: a pair of loons has chosen to nest and lay eggs on the island that we deployed on Fire Lake! I live on Fire Lake and checked the FII island on the evening of Monday, May 30 and observed a loon in the vicinity of the island. No bird was on the island, but when I approached (via kayak), I observed two loon eggs in the nest. The island is in an excellent setting for viewing from shore as it is about 60 feet offshore and the riparian area is a fairly steep wooded hill that offers a “bird’s eye” view and relatively good concealment. Given this advantage, I returned to the island yesterday morning at about 0730 hours…The sun was already over the horizon and hitting the island. No loon was observed.
This morning my son…and I returned…To our delight, one of the loons was incubating the eggs and allowed us to take a number of images and several minutes of video over the course of about 60 minutes. We were able to approach to less than 100 feet… As the sun came over the hill and hit the nest the loon slid off into the water (perhaps the sun keeps the eggs warm enough for the bird to feed).
I really can’t overstate our excitement. No loons have ever been known to nest on Fire Lake. We see loons on the lake every year. The lake offers excellent habitat, EXCEPT for the absence of a suitable nesting island. Your island was apparently “suitable.”
- Dean Premo, Ph.D., President, White Water Associates, Inc.
Amasa, Mich. (USA)
“We had a backyard pond that had no vegetation, was full of algae, and wasn’t very productive for growing our koi fish. We didn’t want to use fish food because of the problems with excess nutrients and the hassle of remembering when to feed. We weren’t always around to look after things and wanted a relatively easy solution to our challenges.
After deploying a BioHaven Wild Floating Island we noticed several things happening. The pond cleared up as a result of the island’s bio-filter matrix with its plant roots and beneficial microbes. Shade from the island also helped cool the pond. But most of all, the plants were going crazy with growth! It looked awesome. In a pond that had looked pretty dead, we now had a water feature that came alive.
By far the biggest surprise was how quickly the koi grew. One of them doubled in size in a span of about six weeks just from nibbling plant roots and without any supplemental feeding. We couldn’t believe it! Also, we originally thought that the fish would always hide under the island and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy them but we found that they only sought the protection of the island during the hottest, brightest days, and came out to swim around when it was not so bright or when clouds came by, and in the morning and evening. Needless to say we haven’t lost any to birds, which is great because we live on the Yellowstone River where there are lots of predatory birds.”
- Russell Smith, Partner of Aquatic Design & Construction, Inc.
Billings, Mont. (USA)
“We have recently completed restoration on two spring creeks at the (name excluded for privacy purposes) residence for cutthroat trout spawning and habitat. These streams
had been run down and flattened by over a hundred years of cattle grazing.
When we applied for the permits with the Army Corps of Engineers, we were limited to filling no more than 1/3 acre and no more than 1000 linear feet with a general permit. In order to fill more than this amount, we would have to apply for a nationwide or individual permit that would d be very costly, timely and would require hydrological analysts, wetland delineation, etc.
Due to these restrictions we ended up with a small shallow pond, in the middle of a pristine spring creek, that does not provide much in the way of function for the fish.
The next step was to find enough cover for the fish in this large slow moving pool to protect them from prey. This is where the floating cut-bank comes in. It will allow large area of cover for fish, visibly complete the stream (this pond is at highly visible view point), and help the water quality.
I have a floating island just outside my living room and there is trumpeter swan cygnet that has made this his home for the past few weeks. He loves the floating island to stand on and preen. It gives him safe footing and deep enough water to throw his whole neck in and be able to wash himself up.
I also started a small island with lettuces in the greenhouse. Two weeks ago, I put it in the pond with a plastic cover that has holes for releasing hot air, making it a mini greenhouse itself. The plants on the island are now double the size of the greenhouse plants.”
- Mike Wheeler
Jackson Hole, Wyo. (USA)