It’s very good news that the EPA has designated the Gowanus Canal a Superfund site – it absolutely needs extensive restoration, and it’s a huge undertaking. There’s an extra bit of satisfaction in that the usual course in America is the politically connected, offending institutions face no consequences (the Bloomberg adminstration’s brilliant plan was to ‘persuade’ the polluters to help with the clean up, in the same manner I expect in which the Fed ‘persuaded’ banks to rework underwater mortgages) but this time the polluters will be held responsible. I know, novel!
The canal is a fascinating place, a post-industrial urban pastoral. Some people live along it an on it, there’ still some light manufacturing and the streets are pleasingly desolate. I go across it or along it almost every day, and it’s worth stopping for a few moments just to see what’s there, because it’s more than just pollution. Occasionally there are fish in the water, and I once saw a turtle and, a couple weeks ago, and egret perched on a raft. The Carroll Street bridge over it is a wooden bridge, in the middle of Brooklyn. It can be quiet lovely at times, and this slide show of images is worth lingering over.