Gallinas Watershed Council (GWC) has now planted and launched two new floating islands in the watery “arm” around the Children’s Island at the Civic Center Lagoon. One is similar to our previous islands, made of recycled PET bottles and marine-grade foam and planted with smaller plants, as the tule took over before and booted our other plants off the island. This structure is a bit more sturdy than our previous islands as well. The manufacturer, Floatings Islands West, has made improvements based on our and others’ experience.
The newest island is a special creation by artist Aurora Mahassine and our indigenous TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) partner, Monique Sonoquie. This new island is made from completely biological materials—no plastic. Bamboo, rope and willow branches woven like a basket around the spokes complete the design. We did not yet plant this island, waiting to see if the willow branches will sprout and create a floating willow forest. This is very likely, so keep an eye out for sprouting and new green growth come spring.
We will be monitoring the growth of both islands and taking samples of the water over the next year, to present our findings to the Board of Supervisors.
Thanks to our wonderful partners in Marin County Parks, Ari Golan and Katt Knecht and Darren for all their help in getting this phase of our project launched!