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The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Outreach Committee met on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at the offices of the Fifth Avenue Committee, at 621 Degraw Street.

CAG Attendees: Sabine Aronowsky, Christine Petro, Eric McClure

Guests: Benjamin Solotaire, Jennifer Jones


10th Anniversary Event
• Updates to the Timeline

Jennifer knows someone who lives in the neighborhood who does data visualization for the New York Times – might be a good resource for the timeline redesign.

Benjamin: North Gowanus Visioning Group meeting next on January 28th.

Replicating the Double D pool exactly will be difficult; siting the temporary pool within a reasonable distance from its current location will be a challenge without some tradeoffs. Sabine mentioned that Goldfish, a private pool operator, has opened recently in the neighborhood, and could be a possible temporary solution.

Tank site design still has some flexibility.

Haven’t been in touch with DEP about anything in particular. Demolition should start in the next couple months.

Council Member Levin is still planning to host a February/March informational meeting to provide the community with an overview of the CSO tank plan, construction process, 234 Butler preservation. Contingent on acceptance of the design by EPA. Haven’t chosen a firm date yet.

ULURP agreement includes creation of a construction watchdog group, which needs to be in place by the time that demolition starts. Benjamin and Eric will check with CB6 about the task force.

Sabine is willing to compile a video montage of CAG and cleanup history and take the lead on pulling visuals.

Natalie suggested a number of possible 10th Anniversary events via email:

  • Townhall-esque Meeting
  • Open House
    • Visual timeline
  • Social Media
    • In-the-moment videos (a 60-second interview)
    • Tweets
  • Press event at the Canal
    • Potential locations include the Lowes parking lot where we announced the 2013 ROD; street end at the head of the canal overlooking the cutoff wall 
  • Local school involvement
    • Youth storytelling
    • Art contest

GCC has school partnerships and relationships with local teachers

What are the goals?

Commemorate anniversary
• Bring awareness to on-the-ground work that will be happening

The biggest visual milestone will be the start of the cleanup work. Cutoff wall target completion date is August 2020, so when will actual dredging start?

Pumping Station site would be a good place to do a press event, or just off Butler Street (the parking lot between Butler and the top of the canal).

We need an update on when dredging will actually begin from EPA. We’ll let EPA know that the 10th anniversary of the designation on March 2nd is a bit early for the CAG to be able to pull things together.

Could Congresswoman Velazquez’s office help with the designation anniversary? Christine will reach out to Dan Wiley.

CAG anniversary (October) could be a public meeting. Maybe a community update at a larger location. We have time to figure that out. Anniversary could be a look back at the past 10 years. More of a social event. Could also be an opportunity to re-think the town hall format. Who do we want to attract to that?

Next Steps:

Christine to contact Dan Wiley regarding March 2 anniversary press release/event.

Follow up with Natalie with meeting summary.

Jennifer will ask her friend at the Times about helping with the timeline.

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