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Photo Gallery: Earth Day Celebration Becomes Workday for Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club

April 25, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club started in 1999 with a goal of building a constituency to push for cleanup of the Gowanus Canal. The group celebrated Earth Day this year with a Saturday full of activity. Thanks to special permission from the EPA, intrepid canoers were able to paddle the waters of the middle section of the Gowanus Canal to see signs of superfund cleanup progress. Friends of the Dredgers and volunteers from the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) Metropolitan Chapter Young Professionals collected trash in and around the water. A team of scientists, led by Elizabeth Henaff (NYU Tandon School of Engineering) in collaboration with JJ Hastings (Weill Cornell Medicine), collected samples. Art students from NYU collected water to create bio plastics. The day wrapped up with Sea Shanty Saturday, a sing-along musical partnership of the Gowanus Dredgers and Porch Stomp. To learn more about the work of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, visit


J.J. Hastings and Mamoun survey the Gowanus Canal for a sampling site. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


Brad Vogel, Captain of the Gowanus Dredgers, directs attention to some finds of interest in the water. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


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Scientists return to the boathouse after successful sampling. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


Gowanus Dredgers’ captain Brad Vogel returns to the dock assisted by Gary Francis. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.

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A scientist labels samples from the canal. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


Scientists test a sample of water from the canal. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


Elizabeth Henaff reads data from a Gowanus water sample. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


NYU students collect water for a bioplastics art project. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


After a successful canal excursion collecting flotsam, Dredger Josh Prol navigates a canoe back to shore. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


A double-crested cormorant sits amid construction at the 2nd Ave. Street end. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


Dredgers’ friend Lottey observes the new bulk heads in the canal. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.

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Paddlers celebrating Earth Day explore the canal. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


J.J. Hastings collects a sample from the canal. Photo by Nicole Vergalla.


Dredgers member Gary Francis and a guest inspect site construction at the Salt Lot by canoe; a 4-million gallon combined sewer overflow tank is planned for the site, a infrastructural change required by the EPA superfund cleanup. Photo by Brad Vogel.


Volunteers from the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) Metropolitan Chapter joined the Dredgers for an Earth Day clean up. Photo by Brad Vogel.


Earth Day Sea Shanties with the Gowanus Dredgers and Porch Stomp. Photo by Liz Schnore.

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