Marsh Radio Island
Community Supported – Salt Marsh Flotant – Communication Station
Marsh Radio Island is a project that activates the interconnectedness of humans and plants in the urban port city ecosystem of Boston by deploying designed flotants (modular salt marsh habitats) for growing salt marsh plant species of the future. It offers a practical design solution to flood-risk neighborhoods that incorporates performance, public intervention, and community engagement that considers anew the role plants play in protecting and supporting all life on the planet. These flotants increase biodiversity, improve water quality, and protect the shoreline. Built out of recycled materials, these structures will maintain salt marsh plant life from the Northeast and those from southeastern states like North and South Carolina, zones whose current climate reflects annual temperatures that could occur in Boston by the year 2050.
As a soft engineering solution, the goal of the piece is to serve as a foundation for personal, botanical, and imaginative growth through a compassion and empathy-based communication system. Each flotant will include a community supported media campaign including a plant-focused mail system, a radio transmitter that sends and receives communication by plants and people, and maintenance tours that engage community members in the tending and transportation of the flotants to critical flood sites along the coast. Building a relationship with the plants in this way allows communities to formulate a more intimate and immediate connection to the abstract complexities of large scale climate change and geoengineering solutions.