Gowanus Canal

Photo Courtesy Josh Verleun

Photo Courtesy Josh Verleun

The Gowanus Canal, located in Brooklyn, NY is one of the most heavily contaminated water bodies in the nation. This 1.8 mile long, 100 foot wide, canal was built in the 19th century and historically was home to many industries including manufactured gas plants, cement factories, oil refineries, tanneries, and chemical plants. After nearly 150 years of use, the canal has become heavily contaminated with PCBs, heavy metals, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, sewage solids from combined sewer overflows, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Efforts are now underway to clean up some of the former industrial sites along the canal’s banks, reduce sewage overflows, and improve water quality. There are also several new housing and retail developments which have been proposed.

The latest News on the Gowanus Canal

  • 7-8-09 RvK calls for EPA clean up of the polluted Brooklyn waterway

  • Gowanus Canal and its Superfund Candidacy

  • Major Development Proposed for Gowanus – RvK Comments