The Benefits of Artificial Wetlands
In 1994 researchers at Ohio State University created two artificial wetlands* in riverine basins in order to investigate their possible benefits, and whether they could replace those lost to environmental degradation. A key benefit would be the cleaning and filtering of polluted water.
The Mississippi watershed, like many other watershed regions, is affected by chemicals that turn about 7000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico into a so-called ‘dead zone‘. This dead zone suffers from hypoxia, a condition that occurs when nitrates and phosphorus from fertilizers cause excessive growth of algae. These algal blooms deplete the water of almost all oxygen, making it dangerous for fish and other animals. Ohio State University wanted to find out if the design of these artificial wetlands would work.