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Take A Virtual Boat Ride Through Hell

Since 2002, Riverkeeper has been engaged in pollution enforcement and litigation on Newtown Creek, most notably against ExxonMobil, to ensure that it is once again clean waterway.  Remember, before Europeans arrived in New York, Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal were both extremely biologically diverse marine habitats for countless species.  Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, many of these species have been forced elsewhere.

In an effort to restore this polluted waterway to its natural state, Riverkeeper Boat Captain John Lipscomb was recently joined by photographer Mitch Waxman and brownfields specialist Damion Lawyer on a day-long survey of Newtown Creek, which divides Brooklyn and Queens.  The team conducted a photographic survey of the entire shoreline of the Creek, including Dutch Kills and Maspeth Creek, as part of Riverkeeper’s work on the Newtown Creek Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) study.  Riverkeeper is working to complete the state funded study in partnership with Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center  and the Newtown Creek Alliance.  The BOA is a community-based economic development planning process focused on the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites along the Creek.  The study will focus on preserving industry, cultivating new industrial uses, exploring opportunities for new infrastructure, increasing waterfront access and open space, restoring habitat, and enhancing the interconnections between those who live and work near the Creek.

Click the links below to view a map visualization of the entire shoreline survey:

For more on the BOA, please visit this link.

And some of our favorite photos from the survey. All that’s missing is the awful smell coming from the Creek:

A combined sewer overflow (CSO) on Newtown Creek
A CSO on Newtown Creek
A scrap barge on Newtown Creek
A CSO on Newtown Creek
Garbage and debris in Maspeth Creek

Photos courtesy of Mitch Waxman

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