July 26, 2013
Floating Food, New York
Photograph by Tyrone Turner, National Geographic
The Science Barge is a floating environmental education classroom and greenhouse on the Hudson River in New York.
Fueled by solar power, wind, and biofuels, the barge, which was built in 2007, has zero net carbon emissions.
Vegetables are grown hydroponically—with plants getting all of their necessary nutrients from water instead of soil—in an effort to preserve natural resources and adapt to urban environments, where healthy soil, or soil at all, is hard to come by. Rainwater and treated river water are used for irrigation, and pesticides are prohibited.
The original owner of the barge—New York Sun Works—designed it as a prototype for closed-loop and self-sufficient rooftop gardens in urban areas.
(See more pictures of urban agriculture in “Urban Farming Is Growing a Green Future.”)
Thousands of schoolchildren and adults have visited the barge, which is now operated by Groundwork Hudson Valley and docked in Yonkers, just north of New York City.
Complete listing of 10 green-tech city solutions can be found online.