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Gowanus Canal Conservancy

About this listing

Environmental non-profit organization advocating for a healthy Gowanus Canal Watershed

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Gowanus
Open Space, Recreation, Education

Place Matters Profile

“Well, the Gowanus Canal has always been the source of community agitation and concern,” says Hans Hesselein, Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC). “People always loved it, but from day one it was always a fetid, smelly open sewer, and the repository for vast amounts of industrial pollution. It’s always been a significant landmark between two very vibrant and healthy communities, and it’s been something that people wanted to address.”

Known semi-affectionately as “Lavender Lake” due to its unnatural coloration, the 1.8 mile Gowanus Canal has indeed long been a source of community conversation and consternation. Originally a navigable creek in a system of wetlands, during the second half of the 19th century the Gowanus was deepened into a vital commercial waterway conveying goods from South Brooklyn factories to Upper New York Bay. Local industry and population grew along with the canal, and by the 20th century its...

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Julia Price

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