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Look | A Celebration for the Gowanus Canal as It Turns 100

Friday, June 24, 2011

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal. (Courtesy of Lesley Unruh)

The Gowanus Canal, one of New York City's most fetid waterways, celebrated its 100th anniversary this week and was feted with a flushing ritual and small parade of residents.

The canal, nicknamed "the Lavender Lake" for its cocktail of hazardous pollutants, was designated a Superfund site by the EPA last March. 

But locals drifted down their odorous waterway on Tuesday, tossing white lilies from canoes and celebrating a century, for better or worse, of living near the Gowanus Canal. 

Linda Mariano, talking the role of Miss Gowanus 2011.

Linda Mariano, talking the role of Miss Gowanus 2011.

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal.

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal.

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal.

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal.

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal.

Local residents celebrating the centennial of the Gowanus Canal.

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Comments [2]

Ray Sotnychuk

it has been some time since i visited but lets hope that the canal gets cleaned up and the 100 year old tradition with the lilies continues

Jun. 27 2011 01:17 AM
LWD from Gowanus

Your statement is not quite correct. The canal is well over 100 years old. The celebration was for the "giant piece of plumbing," the Flushing Tunnel, that was opened for use 100 years ago. It was designed to push the sewage filled water from the canal and out into the river.

The canal smells today because the city has never build the necessary sewer infrastructure to carry all the sewage to the treatment plant. There still are no plans to keep the sewage out of the canal. Once the Flushing Tunnel is repaired, it will go back to pushing the sewage from the canal into the river.

The community is all wondering when this generation will invest in the necessary new infrastructure that will get the waste form all these Brooklyn neighborhoods to some sewage treatment plant.

Jun. 25 2011 04:13 PM

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