Whenever it rains heavily, New York City's East Harbor sewage treatment facilities spill their excess waste water into the Gowanus Canal. So when in NYC try not to flush when it rains.For Open House New York, urban planner (and canoeist) Owen Foote offered self-guided canoe trips along the Gowanus, as a way to bring attention to the canal.
Although designated as superfund site to clean up centuries of industrial dumping, the waterway still isn't totally rehabilitated, given the ongoing sewage run-off issue.
The canoe trips provided a fascinating glimpse into the industrial underbelly of the city, even as they were a bit unnerving, as we endeavored to come into contact with the filmy green water as little as possible.
"Next time we see each other I will be sure to admire whatever impressive new mutant appendages you're sporting as a result of this adventure!" our pal Michelle Gienow Facebook'ed us when she heard of the tour. Ahh, Gowanus Canal, putting the "fun" into "superfund"...