Egret:Miska Draskoczy


From the July 3, 2015 edition of The New York Times:

The photos here are part of an exhibition called “Gowanus Wild,” which will be at the Brooklyn Public Library until Sept. 25. Already they are documents of a vanishing world. Since Mr. Draskoczy started shooting in 2012, most of the sites he photographed have been torn down or swept away for new development, he said. Once-empty streets now bustle with baby strollers and bar patrons. But the other night he ventured down to the end of Huntington Street, where he had photographed the egret. The tree was still there, and in it, on the same branch, was an egret.


Photo: Miska Draskoczy

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver revealed the proposed sites for two large retention tanks intended to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Gowanus Canal at the June meeting of the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group this past Tuesday evening.

The tanks, a remedy ordered by the EPA to aid the long-term health of the canal, would be located at a site along the eastern shore of the head end of the Gowanus, and mid-canal at the site of the Gowanus Salt Lot, if the locations are accepted by the EPA.  DEP estimates that construction of the tanks would cost approximately $490 million and $311 million, respectively, with work commencing around 2018 and lasting several years.

To view NYC DEP’s presentation, click here.

Gowanus CSO Tank Site 1 Rendering

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group holds its monthly meeting tonight, June 30th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Mark Star of the Sea Senior Apartments at 41 1st Street in Carroll Gardens.

The agenda is as follows:

6:30 – 6:45 PM: Introductions and Updates

  • Introductions
  • Project Updates (EPA)

6:45 – 8:00 PM: Conversation with NYCDEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd

8:00 PM: CAG Committee Updates

  • Administration Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Archaeology Committee
  • Water Quality and Technical Committee

8:30 PM: Adjourn

All Gowanus Canal CAG meetings are open to the public.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group holds its May General Meeting this Tuesday, May 26th, at 6:30 p.m., at the Mary Star of The Sea Senior Apartments, 41 1st Street, in Carroll Gardens.  The meeting’s draft agenda is as follows: 

6:30 – 7:30 PM: Introductions and Updates

  • Introductions
  • Project Updates (EPA)

7:30 PM: CAG Committee Updates

  • Administration Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Archaeology Committee
  • Water Quality and Technical Committee

8:30 PM: New Member Interview

9:00 PM: Adjourn

This meeting, as are all Gowanus Canal CAG meetings, is open to the public.  Please join us!

On May 14th, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection held a second public meeting on the Gowanus Canal Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan, at P.S. 32 in Carroll Gardens.

You can download a copy of NYC DEP’s presentation here.

The presentation included updates on completed and planned city investments in water-quality improvements, a review of the Canal’s water quality and Long-Term Control Plan alternatives, and a discussion of alternatives NYC DEP is pursuing for CSO storage tanks.

NYC DEP is accepting public comments on the Long-Term Control Plan via email at  You can learn more about the Long-Term Control Plan at

Gowanus Canal CSO LTCP

From a NYS DEC press release, issued today:

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today extended the public comment period on a Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) to clean up contamination at the former Fulton Municipal Works site, adjacent to the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, by 30 days. Comments will be accepted through June 2.

The PRAP applies to Operable Unit 1 (OU1) at the site, which includes the property on which the former MGP was located and neighboring properties where contamination is present east of the Gowanus Canal. The site is a principal source of contaminants to sediments in the upper Gowanus Canal. In addition, remedial investigations determined that coal tar from MGP operations at the site has spread in soils below the surface, including under a portion of Thomas Greene Park.

Comments may be submitted to:

Henry Willems
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

The proposed cleanup plan would accommodate current site uses and future redevelopment, and also aligns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) remediation efforts to prevent recontamination of Gowanus Canal. National Grid, which formerly owned the site, will implement and pay for the cleanup. The primary components of the remedy are the construction of a sealed wall along the western shoreline of the Gowanus Canal and the removal of any coal tar that accumulates behind it. Excavation activities would occur in phases as properties are redeveloped and will not require closures or relocation of occupants or current site uses. Contamination at Thomas Greene Park is well below ground and site structures at the park, which prevents public exposure.

“‘It’s just like swimming through a dirty diaper,’ he told a crowd of reporters, residents of the nearby neighborhoods and incredulous passers-by who had gathered to see him off at the canal end of Degraw Street. Having some experience with dirty diapers, as well as with other, somewhat less filthy waterways, Mr. Swain had come prepared: His silver Nissan Pathfinder held a pair of black rubber fins, a yellow dry suit, a pair of black gloves, goggles and a green rubber swimming cap on which Mr. Swain had written, in black marker, ‘#HOPE.'”



Read the full New York Times story, by reporter Vivian Yee, here.