Guy Who Swam the Gowanus Canal Is Going To Do the Newtown Creek Next

May 1, 2015 | 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 disgusting than the Gowanus Canal. The 3.5 mile-long creek used to house more than 50 chemical and oil refineries, which leaked millions of gallons of oil and other toxic, cancer-causing chemicals into the water and ground around the creek. It is currently home to the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, affectionately known as “shit tits” for its sewage processing capabilities and breast-like appearance.

The Superfund site has had more cleanup work done than the Gowanus, and some aquatic activities such as kayaking and fishing (!) have been approved for the Newtown Creek. It even has a nature walk. But Swain, who wears protective gear and rinses his mouth out with hydrogen peroxide so none of the “icky water” touches his skin, says it’s not far enough along.

“We’re a long way from people being able to swim safely in Newtown Creek every day,” he told DNAinfo. “That’s still a great, crazy dream.”

If Christopher Swain wants to swim in disgusting bodies of water, he should just do it, not make a whole production out of it. Everyone knows the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek are horrifyingly polluted. Awareness is raised. He just wants us to pay attention to him. Which we will, because gross!

(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)