Brooklyn Residents Take Gowanus Into Their Own Hands

Written by NYPress on . Posted in Blog, News Our Town Downtown, Our Town Downtown.


The gross canal is experiencing new attempts to finally get it clean

Gowanus - photo by Barry Yanowitz

While still far, and I mean far from any semblance of cleanliness, Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal is slowly cleaning up its act.

Recently mentioned by the New York Times, roughly two dozen local residents beat the city to the punch and —in step with the city’s Superfund designation— began an effort to clean the Gowanus’ mucky waters.

“You should be able to take pride in your backyard,” one Brooklyn resident told the Times. “This should be able to reflect the standards that we’re capable of.”

According to the article, the Gowanus is one of the city’s sewer overflows— a hub used to relieve the city’s water flows during heavy rain so the water doesn’t flood the streets. This, naturally, has resulted in a really nasty, gonorrhea-ridden hub of filth.

About 377 million gallons of sewage water flow into the canal every year, but next year the city plans to repair a pipe that flushes fresh water into the canal, while planning continued efforts and millions in spending over the next two decades, the Times said.

A small group of neighbors picking up trash and dead brush isn’t going to do much against that amount of filth, and they realize that. “The cleanup is less about realistic expectations, and more about claiming the former industrial wasteland as home,” the Times said.

I envy their stomachs for that kind of thing.

-Nick Gallinelli

 

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