To see and, often, to smell Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal is to witness the impact of water pollution past and present. Pollutants released into the channel by industrial neighbors many years ago mingle with current-day toxins from sewage overflows that get dumped in the drink.
The Bloomberg administration had a plan to clean the canal, but federal officials stepped in in 2010 to declare it a Superfund site. Backers of the move said it would increase accountability for polluters. City Hall warned the declaration would slow the clean-up and scare off nearby development.
So Brooklyn College reporter Rene Askew and producer Christina Asencio decided to take a look at progress on the project and how the residents feel about it: