The Gowanus Canal Issues, dlandstudio
Most New Yorkers, especially Brooklynites, know the beloved Gowanus Canal is teeming with nasty things: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), petroleum, raw sewage, and even gonorrhea. Since the late 1800s, the canal has been an unregulated dumping grounds for industry along its banks.
The canal is finally getting the attention it needs. Whether it ends up being an EPA Superfund site, or - if Bloomie get's his way - the city cleans it up without the Feds, there is one organization ensuring the clean up and beautification happens - The Gowanus Canal Conservancy.
The Conservancy is working on, among other things, a Sponge Park that will make the Gowanus an inviting place for a leisurely stroll or sit, instead of the putrid, toxified wasteland it currently is. The "sponge" in this case are plants that filter out the nasties (sewage, heavy metals, petrol) that seep into the canal - water which eventually flushes out into the East River and the Atlantic beyond. A tall order indeed, but I'm optimistic that it'll happen. All government agencies are on board and $300,000 was recently earmarked to help fund the park.
You can help out by donating or by volunteering for on one of their Clean & Green days. There's one this Saturday, July 25. Sign up via email:
(include your name, phone number and dates you’d like to participate).