The launch of EPA’s dredging of polluted sediments from Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn will take place next week, the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club informs.
“We’ve been calling for this moment for over 20 years,” said founding club member Owen Foote, “It’s about time!”
“The call for dredging polluted sediments was built into our very name right from the outset,” said Captain Brad Vogel.
“We’re glad this day has arrived, as every one of our programs for two decades sought to highlight the need to clean up the Gowanus.”
“We’re excited about the start of this new chapter,” added Celeste LeCompte, one of the Dredgers’ representatives to the Superfund site’s Community Advisory Group.
“There’s still at least a decade of work to do, and the Dredgers will be here to continue advocating for the Superfund cleanup and the community.”
The Gowanus Canal is known for its legacy of direct dumping since completion in the 1860s to support heavy industry, including coal gas manufacturing plants, oil refineries, machine shops, chemical plants, cement makers, a sulfur producer, a soap maker and a tannery.
At the time, polluters were allowed to directly discharge to the Gowanus waterway.
Currently, as shoreline property is developed, storm water is collected, cleaned and then discharged to the Canal.
However, sewage and water from sinks, showers and laundry continue to overwhelm the sewage system and overflow to the Canal during most rain events.
The EPA’s project will reduce such occurrences to only 25% of most rain events.