PHOTO: Two cars pulled out from Gowanus Canal

The Gowanus Canal is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States, and the communities around it have been advocating for it to be cleaned for decades.

Katia Kelly

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month officially started historic full-scale dredging of this canal in Brooklyn, New York.

According to EPA, the dredging and capping will take place in the upper canal – denominated as Remediation Target Area (RTA) 1 – which includes the 1st Street turning basin and a portion of the 5th Street turning basin.

The dredging comes after years of detailed engineering, scientific studies, and design work.

In preparation for the construction, a dock was installed at the end of Huntington Street and dredge and hopper barges started mobilizing to the Canal in October.

Recently, one excavator operator on site ‘hooked’ a whole car, possibly a Mercedes, on the East side of the Canal between the 1st Street Basin and the Carroll Street Bridge.

Photo by Katia Kelly

What is even more amazing is that a few days later, a second car was pulled out just feet away from the first one. This one was located a bit nearer the 363-365 Bond Street development at Second Street.

According to Pardon Me For Asking, the Police was called by the contractor, but apparently the detective in charge did not know what to do about the discovery and needed to talk to his supervisor.

In the meantime, both cars have been transported to an off-site facility to be cleaned. 

The other material dredged from the Canal will be loaded onto barges and transported down the waterway to the primary staging area at the end of Huntington Street, where it will be dewatered.

The dewatered sediment will be transferred onto larger barges and transported to an off-site facility in New Jersey for further processing.

It is anticipated that the dredging in this portion of the Canal will be completed in fall 2022, with capping to be completed in mid-2023.