The Gowanus Canal has been a Superfund site for just over a year now and city officials are tossing around new plans to clean it up, the latest one involves a lot of great green plant matter. NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway released a plan to help manage sewage overflow in the canal’s area that contributes to its high levels of pollution by planting huge amounts of vegetation in the area. The city plans to use trees, green roofs and water reclamation systems to soak up storm water that causes sewage overflow in the area. This mass of green will help manage pollution in the waterway and will help diminish that “Gowanus stink.” The only problem with the new plan is that it is only slotted to help with 10 percent of the area sewage, not nearly enough to eliminate that smell.
“Having it on the scale it needs to work will require the kind of commitment that we are putting forward — millions of dollars in capital money, and a lot of money also being spent on resources to do modeling and monitoring to make sure it is doing what it is supposed to do,” Holloway told the press after a presentation in the area. This green plan is part of a $1.5-billion, 20-year infrastructure plan that hopes to clean up the waterway. The effort is part of a federal mandate to clean up the waterway which was once heavily used by industry and carelessly polluted. As of last year, oxygen levels in the canal were so low it could support no plant life.
“At the very best, it can solve 10 percent of the problem, so I am a little surprised that he’s here talking about the 10-percent solution instead of talking about the 90-percent solution,” Gowanus resident Steven Miller told The Brooklyn Paper. “We need to talk about the 90-percent solution.” The city has already executed some plans to clean up the waterway including starting an initiative to fix the flushing tunnel which provides the Gowanus Canal with fresh water.