• Sludgie the Whale: An Epilogue by TEDxGowanus

    In 2007 Joy Reidenberg, a comparative anatomist and a professor at the School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was called in to do an autopsy on a wayward Whale who had wondered into the Gowanus Canal. This baby minke whale (baby = 12 foot long sea creature) was sadly given the name Sludgie by the Daily News as a reference Fudgie the Whale ice cream cakes. Upon being confused and trapped in the Gowanus Canal, Sludgie’s plight captured the hearts of local New Yorkers. But despite the hopes of an entire city for his escape, Sludgie would never leave Gowanus and would end up on Professor Reidenberg’s make-shift autopsy table.
    In this piece from TedxGowanus, Professor Reidenberg talks about her examination of poor Sludgie the Whale:

    Sludgie skull will be on display at TedxGowanus on January 14, 2014 thanks to Proteus Gowanus.

    Get your tickets to TedxGowanus here.

  • The Gowanus Flushing Tunnel Repairs are Nearly Complete, Testing to Start Soon

    Gowanus Flushing Tunnel

    The Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel — an underground connection designed to bring fresh, oxygenated water from the East River into the head of the oxygen-poor Gowanus Canal — is finally getting ready to come back online after years of repairs and setbacks. According to Gary Kline of New York State’s Department Of Environmental Conservation, the “City will start the initial pump test of the Flushing Tunnel in the next 2-3 weeks.” The repairs, which cost the city $190 million, have been underway since 2009. The temporary oxygenation pump system visible throughout the surface of the canal will be removed this winter.

    For more information on the tunnel’s re-opening, Pardon Me For Asking has the full story.

    For more information on the flushing tunnel and its unique history, check out this article in the New York Times from 2011.

  • Jamie Courville Voice’s: Linda Mariano – Gowanus & Hurricane Sandy

    A year ago the Hurricane Sandy washed up into New York City and overflowed the Gowanus Canal. It was the first time in memory that the Gowanus Canal had breached its banks. Last year Halloween was cancelled, the NYC Marathon was cancelled and New York was changed forever. The Gowanus areas playful commentary about the dangers of the Gowanus Canal are no longer funny and the thought of the dirty dangerous water flowing into homes during another super storm now haunt the residents of the South Brooklyn area.

    Jamie Courville is an artist that records voices of the people seldom heard in the mainstream. She presents the voice of Linda Mariano who is a local Gowanus resident and also co-founder of FROGG (Friends and Residents of the Gowanus Canal). Linda talks about the hurricane, the Gowanus flooding, and her hope that the horrors of Sandy will encourage people to make change.

    Check out more from Jamie Courville here.

  • EPA Finalizes Cleanup Plan for Gowanus Canal

    The EPA has finally gotten to the end of a very very very long road. They have dotted the T’s and crossed the i’s… wait the other way around… the plan that is meant to clean up the stinky bog of eternal stench, better known as the Gowanus Canal.


    -the middle and upper part of the Gowanus Canal will be dredged…”approximately 307,000 cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment” and will be given some new ‘clean’ sand

    -the mouth / lower part of the Canal will be dredged… “approximately 280,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and capping of the area with active, isolation and armor layers and a layer of sand to help restore habitat”

    -the EPA will ask the City to kindly not dump solids into the Canal… “plan requires controls to significantly reduce the flow of contaminated sewage solids from combined sewer overflows into the upper canal”… currently not in any work or plan from the City of New York. (Wonder why its just reducing of solid sewage and an all out ban on dumping raw sewage into the Canal)

    -polluted site along the Canal are being “ddressed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in coordination with the EPA”. (Wonder what “addressed” means?)

    Check out the full details here.

  • Fishies In Gowanus Canal

    So, over the weekend we were bee boppin over the Carroll Street Bridge,♩♬♩,(

    Although animals have been seen before in the Canal, this is the first time we have noticed so many little fishies at one time. It seems the Canal actually might be getting cleaner and allowing life to actually exist in its nasty waters.

    If anyone actually knows what species these itty bitty guys are please let us know. We’d like to warned if they are either a huge hoard of baby frogs or mutant mermaids.

  • Riding the Wave of the Gowanus Canal – Gowanus Boat Challenge

    Sail the ocean blue… Sail the Gowanus green!
    Back in June the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club had a good old fashion boat race with 30 crazy vessels zipping along the very polluted Superfund Gowanus Canal.
    Vimeo user Jeff Bush give the 311 on the event and explains the need to support the Gowanus Dredgers with their continued effort to clean the Gowanus Canal.

    Gowanus Boat Challenge from Jeff Bush on Vimeo.

    Plus, Charlie Kaye, Executive Producer for Radio at CBS News, posted a video highlighting the various canoes, kayaks, and row boats that participated in the event.

    The Gowanus Challenge from Charlie Kaye on Vimeo.

  • The Gowanus Canal’s First Ever Boat Race Takes Place Tomorrow, June 15th!

    Tomorrow afternoon, 26 teams will face off in a boating competition in very own lovable superFUNd site, the Gowanus Canal. The only rules? No motors and no sails.

    The project’s genesis came early this spring when the Gowanus Dredgers and the Red Hook Boaters issued a challenge to all of New York City’s boathouses, and the response has been overwhelming.

    Read more ›

  • The New York Times Profiles Neighborhood Resistance to E.P.A. Gowanus Canal Clean-Up Plan


    The New York Times has published an article profiling neighborhood resistance to the various Gowanus Canal clean-up plans proposed by the E.P.A., from how the canal will be dredged to how the toxic sludge will eventually be used and how future canal contamination will be prevented.

    A particularly troublesome proposal calls for an 8-million gallon sewage storage tank to be built underground beneath the popular Double D Pool to prevent the canal from overflowing during rainstorms. Neighbors are obviously up in arms about the idea of their children swimming on top of a giant sewage tank, and as fans of the pool at Gowanus Your Face Off we’re not so stoked on that idea either.

    Read the story here.

  • shipping containers for bio-remediation

    Here’s some bitchen science…
    This animated sequence posted by Pilot Projects shows a concept of bio-remediation with the use of 40 shipping containers sitting in the Gowanus Canal. The plan called Modular Floodplain covers the shipping container with plants and soil, which would filter (meaning help to clean) the Gowanus Canal.

    This design won Honorable Mention for Urban Ecology in Water_Works Competition from Gowanus by Design.

  • Rapid rescue Sea Mammals Caught In Canal

    The tragic death of the wayward dolphin last week has inspired an online petition that request local and state officials to have a plan for rescuing dolphins and whales when they wonder into the polluted Gowanus Canal. Patch first reported that Vangeline Gand posted a petition titled: Rapid rescue of dolphins and whales in Gowanus Canal and that it already has more than 150 signatures. One issue noted from last weeks tragedy was that rescuers were not given the go ahead to get into the Canal because it’s so polluted. This was most likely only one of the issues since rescuing a wild animal is a complicated issue. Specifically, there are many rules in place when dealing with a wild animals that are not well known by the public. The petition is looking for a way to:

    “ have a protocol in place for rapid rescue to help these large mammals swim back to the bay when they get trapped”.

    The petition is to be delivered to a whole host of who’s who in New York politics: Nydia Velazquez, New York Congressional District 7, Joan Millman, New York House District 52, Velmanette Montgomery, New York Senate District 25, Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor, Bloomberg, Mayor, Charles Schumer, New York U.S. Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York U.S. Senate, The New York State House, and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    You can find the online petition here.


Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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