The neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn is known for the Italian population, the beautiful gardens which it was named after, the Carroll Street Bridge, (the oldest retractile bridge in the country, and a New York City landmark) and of course, the toxic Gowanus Canal.
The Gowanus Canal used to be a thriving waterway for shipping and transportation and to its misfortune; the canal now has evidence of pesticides, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds within the water’s soil bed.
Since 1975 residents and environmentalists have called upon the government and now, 35 years later, the Environmental Protection Agency has placed the Gowanus Canal on its Superfund National Priorities List and there are plans for a 15 year, multi-million dollar, clean-up strategy.
With many fingers to point, the good news is that the tax payers won’t be paying for this bill.
So what does this mean for the residents living off the infested creek? Well, for starters it means get out of the water. After years of media coverage and factual evidence of these toxins, today, people are still fishing and kayaking in the water.
It’s going to be more than a decade for the clean-up to start showing positive signs, but what will it take to make people listen that the water has been polluted for more than 150 years and not to mention the video footage of the sewage leaks. If that’s not enough to get people to back on land I don’t know what is.