Project Fresh Float

Student | Colleen Keegan Whiteley
Faculty | Tetsu Ohara
School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Sustainability Certificate

This project looks at salinity intrusion in coastal Bangladesh, caused by increasingly severe flooding, cyclones, and sea-level rise.

Communities depend on freshwater for drinking, agriculture, and economic stability, and without it are forced to relocate. Examining local solutions, I drew inspiration from the freshwater hydroponic gardens many coastal villages use to grow & distribute crops. My project builds upon this tradition to create a biomimetic solution that allows farming to continue even as the landscape changes.

The modified floating garden structure proposed by Project Fresh Float replaces the traditional use of fresh-water hyacinth with Porteresia, another abundant reed that thrives in brackish water. A bamboo hull creates an air pocket that gives space for an impenetrable membrane to collect rainwater, feeding the crops above.
This form was inspired by the traditional floating gardens and boat
building techniques of Bangladesh merged with Biomicry.
Key elements about coastal Bangladesh.
Vision of Project Fresh Float farm.
Biomimicry foundation for multiple elements of Project Fresh Float.