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LIFE returns to the Gowanus Canal!

An incredibly dirty body of water located in the heart of Brooklyn is getting a chance for a new life.

Governor Pataki visits the Gowanus Canal for Earth Day!

Visit HAPPENINGS for events taking place on and around the canal.


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Governor Pataki celebrates Earth Day on Canal

Governor Pataki visited the Carroll Street Bridge to announce a study grant for the Gowanus Canal.

PatakiMaking the announcement on Earth Day, flanked by countless local officials, the Governor painted a picture of the Gowanus Canal as a recreational gem in Downtown Brooklyn.

The Governor made the promise that one day he would return and canoe the canal and see restaurants and businesses lining its banks.

An enthusiastic crowd lined the Carroll Street Bridge for the event including many new residents of the area who have helped the gentrification of the streets surrounding the canal.

Gowanus Canal gains attention of US Army Corps of Engineers

The Gowanus Canal has finally gained significant Washington attention!

WestphalThe head of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Joseph Westphal, joined US Rep. Nydia Velazquez, to announce a three year, $3 Million study to find the best way to clean the Gowanus Canal.

In announcing the study, Westphal journeyed on the canal by boat carrying local activists and politicians who have led the fight for making the water a place in the Brooklyn landscape that is viable as an economic resource.

The cost of the study will be split evenly by the Corps and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Both agencies have only committed to a study, but both are optimistic that much more will be done. Westphal, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, stated that "the background work is done. We would not be here if we did not feel this was a feasible project."

WestphalDEP Commissioner Joel Miele has been involved with the canal throughout the opening of the flushing tunnel (see below) and is excited about the prospects. His agency will see this project through to its fruition.

US Rep. Nydia Valezquez was the force behind this step forward in the struggle of the Gowanus. Valezquez approached the Corps and convinced them to include the Gowanus Canal in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Study.

With the resurgence of the neighborhoods around the canal, and the number of new residents discovering the waterway, the chance for improvement has come. Stay tuned to our website for more!

Gowanus Dredgers featured in "Time Out"

Owen FooteThe Gowanus Dredgers, founded by Gowanus advocate Owen Foote, are nearing the end of their second season on the canal. The club was featured in "Time Out" magazine and has brought renewed interest to the waterway. As a Gowanus Canal old-timer, I took my first ride on the canal in a canoe last weekend with Owen. I have been on the Chelsea Screamer several times, but getting up close and personal with the water of the canal was by far a unique experience for me.

Many people are against this use of the canal. But to understand this waterway and what it can become, there is no better way than seperating yourself with only the skin of a canoe. The number of crabs, fish and birds is phenomenal for a waterway that just two years ago had nothing. Yes, at points the oil scum is disgusting and NO, I do not want to fall in or go swimming. But the future is beckoning. Hopefully, as more people see the waterway, the chances of more cleaning will increase.

The purpose of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club is to advocate for dredging the Gowanus Canal and make it safe for recreational, natural and commercial use. In the interim, they will be raising awareness and performing small eco-restoration projects with their limited resources. To get involved, view their oath, or for additional information, visit their website: http://www.waterfrontmuseum.org/dredgers or send e-mail to dredgers@excite.com.

Fresh water flows...

With the push of a button, fresh water flowed into Brooklyn's historic Gowanus Canal for the first time in 40 years, as Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr. reactivated the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel on May 3, 1999. More...

Lavendar Lake

"Lavendar Lake" documentary

Allison Prete's amazing documentary, "Lavendar Lake" is available on VHS by contacting Rough on Rats Productions via email. Click here to contact!


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