• Gowanus Canal Conservancy Upcoming Events

    The Gowanus Canal Conservancy non-profit group sends out occasional email newsletters with news of upcoming events concerning the canal, including volunteer garden planting, tree giveaways, compost facility building and more. Sign up for the newsletter by dropping them a line .

    Read their latest newsletter below for a list of upcoming volunteer events and lectures this fall.

    Read more ›

  • Conserving the Gowanus Canal

    Eymund Diegel, of the Public Laboratories, fiddles with his DIY aerial mapping device. He’s got some tape, a camera, a kite, and a ‘hello kitty’ hairband. He’s about to send his mismatch aerial camera high above the Gowanus to take photos like these. It’s another day in the life of a scientist, but he like so many others are working on unimaginable projects. This project? the Gowanus Canal! Eymund and an of army of people are trying to change the Canal back into the natural waterway it once was. The New York Times takes a look at what he and others are doing in the area here.

  • Birds Eye View From A Giant Red Balloon

    So last weekend you were probably bee boppin around Gowanus and might have seen a big red balloon floating in the sky near the Canal. As usual whenever you see a big red balloon you thought two things:

    1) 99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons) – the song by that band you can never remember the name of!


    2) Le ballon rouge (The Red Ballon) – the 1956 movie by Albert Lamorisse that you fell asleep watching in film class and failed to ever watch all the way through, even though it’s only like 30+ minutes long.

    Neither of which have anything to do with the balloon you saw in the sky.

    The floating red balloon you possible saw is for an ongoing mapping project being conducted by the Public Laboratory, local residents, and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Low Altitude Mapping Program with the help of Gowanus Dredger’s canoes…aka a whole lot of Gowanus nerds! The data is being collected by all these sciency types for a Proteus Gowanus Over My Dead Body Expedition map and the Conservancy’s Gowanus ReLeaf Expedition aerial review. The team used a Red Balloon from Grassroots Mapping filled helium donated by Liberty Industrial Gases.

    The Googlesque images taken shows the here and now of Gowanus, Brooklyn from above!

    Check out a few of these aerial shots that show Thomas Greene Park Pool, Bayside Fuel Depot, the Canal, Bond St, President St, the controversial Royal Palms Shuffleboard rooftop, and a few of balloonist enjoying themselves.

    (images provided by Eymund Diegel)

    In addition to the fun shots above another round of photographs, found here , were specifically taken for the Gowanus Canal Conservancy to show Canal edge vegetation, new plantings, and street end sites that local residents would like converted to parks. The images also show the greenery the Conservancy has added near the Gowanus Canal and their outdoor office known as the Salt Lot. It probably shows other sciency stuff too like water levels and icky things like pollution.

    Also, a group of photos for Proteus Gowanus were taken in the search for one of Gowanus’s biggest secrets. Supposedly hiding under a large slap of concrete maybe 250 plus dead bodies! The bodies are possible of a Maryland Regiment killed in the first battle of the American Revolutionary War, the 1776 Battle for Brooklyn aka the Battle for Long Island. The image shows 8th Street and 3rd Avenue from above. In it you see someone laying on the ground for scale and a large amount of concrete that has what appears to be cracks making patterns. The theory, listed  under one of the images on Proteus Gowanus’s flickr page, is that if there is a mass grave…

    expansion cracks in the concrete would run north south, contrary to the logical northeast to southeast layout of the lot and steel reinforcing grid’s expansion joints.”

    The images alludes to such cracks and truly might be the final resting place for America’s first soldiers to be lost in battle. Further studies of the images and from other historical documents may force the excavation of this particular lot in Gowanus in the future.

    The mapping program is ongoing and previous birds eye view photos are available on the Proteus Gowanus flickrGowanus Canal Conservancy’s flickr pages and Mapknitter.org.

  • GAG adopt a resolution: ‘Canal is a Poo Free Zone’

    Last week the DEP gave a Gowanus Canal presentation to Community Board Six (CB6). The presentation was a bit…dry (boring!). Amongst all the numbers and historic information was a clear declaration from the DEP, which said: the Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) that run into the Gowanus Canal are not really a danger to public health (paraphrased). The DEP cited numbers from the EPAs report on the Canal that, they say, shows all elements from CSOs flowing into the Canal are lower than acceptable levels. And, although the DEP planned to deal with the CSOs, they wouldn’t be doing it because of anyone was telling them to. This was an eyebrow raising moment for many of the people in the audience at the CB6 meeting and the air in the room grew thick with frustration towards the DEP. During questions after the presentation the DEP kept repeating that the chemical analysis done by that the EPA showed the CSOs are not making the Superfunded site…super toxic and thus the city is not responsible for the Canal’s dirtiness through the poo and dirty rainwater it allows to flow into it.

    That was last week… this is now…

    According to PardonMeForAsking, at Wednesdays Community Advisory Group’s (GAG) general meeting the group voted “to adopt a resolution that asks for a total elimination of New York City’s Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) into the waterway”. PardonMeForAsking also indicates that DEP, who was in attendance, tried to influence GAG member to vote against the resolutions adoption. *how scandalous! Check out the story 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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