The Newtown Creek, that little sliver of muck between Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Queens’ Long Island City, is among North America’s most polluted waterways. Indeed, in 1978, it was home to largest recorded urban oil spill. It’s gross. It’s nasty.

But things are looking up for America’s ickiest creek. It was recently designated a Superfund site by the EPA, and the Newtown Creek Armada is jumping in with a sweet art project to inspire and bring visitors to the forgotten strip of water. The ladies and gents were commissioned by nbART (that’s the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition) to build a veritable fleet of miniature radio-controlled vessels to chug around the Creek. The boats are built by hand, and each one will represent a different era for the creek.

But, they need some Kickstarted help if they’re going to complete the final, and most interesting phase of the project. The Newtown Creek Armada hopes to affix tiny underwater cameras to the underside of each boat so the pollution can be appreciated firsthand. If they double their Kickstarter goal, they’ll set up video portals so those controlling the ships can see the pollution they’re steering in in real time. This could bring a real audience to the body of water that no one can swim or play in, and an audience could bring real change. (Photo: Doug Letterman/Flickr)