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07.02.15 Liam Mathews

A floating orb made from old pieces of trash that was meant to signify brighter days for the filthy canal got crab-bucketed by even older pieces of trash and pulled to the bottom, DNAinfo reports. The Harvest Dome, built by architects Alexander Levi and Amanda Schachter out of 450 discarded umbrellas and 128 plastic bottles, […]

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05.01.15 Liam Mathews

Christopher Swain, the clean-water advocate who attempted to swim the length of the Gowanus Canal on April 22, told DNAinfo that he also plans to swim the Newtown Creek sometime this spring to draw attention to the need to clean the polluted waterway. The Newtown Creek, which separates Queens and Brooklyn, is arguably even more […]

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04.22.15 Aymann Ismail

Environmentalist Christopher Swain had the best intentions when he set out to the swim the entirety of the highly toxic Gowanus Canal on Wednesday afternoon. Due to some poor planning, logistical issues and an overly concerned NYPD, the event was delayed by over an hour. Although he eventually took a dip in the historic waterway, […]

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Prachi Gupta

On Wednesday afternoon, a 47-year-old man did the unthinkable: He plunged into the Gowanus Canal’s dark toxic cauldron of stagnant water, which is brewing with raw sewage, arsenic and gonorrhea, among a host of unknown substances. The man, Christopher Swain, entered the canal at Degraw and Bond Street just before 2 PM, from where he […]

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03.04.14 Andy Cush

Here’s the trailer for Gowanus, a new documentary about the eponymous Brooklyn canal by filmmaker Jessica Philipps. From the looks of it, there’s little to sway us from the vision of the Gowanus as an unspeakably filthy waterway that desperately needs cleaning up. Says one researcher: “We’ve seen things in the water in Gowanus that we’ve […]

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11.04.13 Andy Cush

The last time we checked in on the Harvest Dome, the upcycled art orb made of old umbrellas and soda bottles was washed up on Riker’s Island, its journey around NYC’s rivers sidelined by the marooning. Now, hopefully with the help of a $5,000 Kickstarter Campaign, the dome is making its way to the notoriously […]

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04.09.13 Andy Cush

Walk down Van Brunt Street, the main commercial drag of Red Hook’s waterfront, and the signs are unavoidable–in nearly every shop and restaurant window, a bright yellow poster imploring the Environmental Protection Agency to “Say no to a toxic Red Hook.” They’re advocating against a plan that would have EPA workers dredging toxic sludge from […]

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04.03.13 Andy Cush

To call attention to the dismal state of the Gowanus Canal and the controversial federal effort to clean it up, a group of actors and activists will stage a century-old play near the mouth of the waterway. Why a play? An Enemy of the People, penned in 1882, concerns the citizens of a highly polluted waterfront village. […]

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02.26.13 Julia Dawidowicz

While environmentalists and city officials are determined to cleanse and beautify the cesspool that is the Gowanus Canal, photographer William Miller can appreciate it just the way it is. In his latest series, Gowanus Canal, Miller presents the Brooklyn waterway in all her toxic glory, masterfully transforming the filth into images of abstract, otherworldly splendor. […]

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02.05.13 Andy Cush

The latest proposal to clean up and deal with the toxic waste  that’s plaguing Brooklyn’s Gowanus canal involves building giant holding tanks underneath the nearby Douglass & DeGraw swimming pool, which would catch and store raw sewage before it hits the waterway. Ensuring that the canal isn’t hit with excess waste every time sewers overflow […]

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