Floating cut-flower farms may provide a viable, profitable and colorful way to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from waterways by working hydroponically like natural wetland plants, researchers say. Florida International University researcher Jazmin Locke-Rodriguez used floating plastic mats dotted with holes supporting flowering plants whose roots dangled in the water, parked in artificial ponds and canals where nutrient-laden stormwater flows. Marigolds performed best of the flowers tested. Locke-Rodriguez is testing larger mat systems in canals on the Coral Gables and Little River.

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