areal of the top of the Gowanus Canal courtesy of Eymund Diegel
(photo courtesy of Christopher Swain)
What better way to draw attention to our threatened waterways than to swim in the heavily polluted Gowanus Canal. To mark Earth Day 2015, water activist Christopher Swain has announced that he will be swimming the entire length of the US Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site on Wednesday, April 22 at 12:30. The swim will start roughly at Douglass Street, in the Eastern Effect Parking Lot.
From a press release for the event:
"Wrapped in a yellow drysuit and exposure protection gear, Water Advocate and Swimmer Christopher Swain will emerge from the contaminated soup of the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site, on Earth Day, to call for an accelerated cleanup of the Canal.
Swain’s goal is a Gowanus Canal that is safe to swim in every day. Swain will swim the entire 1.8 mile length of the Gowanus over the course of the day, from the Flushing Tunnel down to New York Harbor, navigating through industrial waste, fuel slicks, sewage, and trash. Swain is thought to be the first person in history to attempt to swim the entire length of the Gowanus Canal."
Swain previously swam the entire lengths of the Columbia, Charles, Hudson, Mohawk, and Mystic Rivers, as well as Lake Champlain, and large sections of the Atlantic coast of the United States.
***UPDATE***EPA Region 2 just posted the following warning on its Facebook Page:
"As a reminder, EPA strongly advises AGAINST swimming in the Gowanus Canal.
Take a look at our color coded document that provides information about ways in which people might be exposed to contamination from the Gowanus Canal, and suggestions about how people can avoid or limit such exposure."