Permeable Concrete Vessel for Creating Floating Aquatic Habitats

Wetlands are areas where water is constantly or near the surface constantly or periodically during the year. They are necessary for flood protection, freshwater quality improvement and supplies, shoreline erosion control, food production, and biodiversity. They act as oxygen generators and carbon sinks. But since 1900, around 55% of the world’s wetlands have been lost to development for agriculture, housing, and other human activities, and much of the remaining wetlands have been negatively impacted by runoff from crop and livestock production, industrial pollution, and climate change.

The Need

Because wetlands are important for freshwater maintenance and flood control around many urban areas, they must be maintained, expanded, and improved in quality. However, increasing wetland areas is costly and difficult because it usually involves purchasing land near bodies of water, which are usually more costly and desirable for commercial development. Thus, improving and stabilizing the remaining wetlands' freshwater quality is necessary.

The Technology

The invention is a hollow perforated conical or other shaped vessel made from porous buoyant concrete, allowing water to permeate the vessel while remaining afloat. In the central hollow space of the vessel, sufficient soil is added to grow tree species that thrive in wet conditions, such as willow and cypress, along with various plant species indigenous to wetlands and wetland boundaries.

Commercial Applications

  • Floating aquatic habitats can be used to restore wetlands’ natural water conditions by absorbing and sequestering nitrogen, phosphorous, and pollutants from farm, urban, and industrial runoff.
  • Increase sun shading, which will reduce annual algae blooms.
  • Improve freshwater quality, increase biodiversity, add aesthetics to developed areas, and restore wetlands ecosystems.
  • Potential for entry into commercial and home landscaping markets.


  • This design allows larger volumes of soil to support larger plant species, such as water-loving trees and larger volumes of wetland plants.
  • The durability of the concrete gives the vessels longer useful lifespans, and the materials used in their construction are from natural sources and chemically inert.

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