Gowanus

Clean-water advocate plans Earth Day swim at Gowanus Canal Superfund site

April 22, 2015 Associated Press
Christopher Swain, not this banjo, will be swimming in the Gowanus Canal on Earth Day. AP photo

A clean-water advocate will make an Earth Day swim in Brooklyn’s polluted Gowanus Canal, a federal Superfund site.

Christopher Swain is calling for an accelerated cleanup of the site in Brooklyn.

Swain will be wrapped in a yellow drysuit and other protective gear during his swim Wednesday.

The 19th-century canal was once a major transportation route. It’s now so polluted with industrial and sewer discharges that it must, by law, be cleaned up.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency says the contaminates include PCBs, which were banned in the U.S. in 1979.

The canal runs over 1½ miles through a narrow industrial zone near some of Brooklyn’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

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