SuperFun on the Gowanus Canal

By Kasia Broussalian

The Gowanus Dredgers, a small volunteer organization that is dedicated to providing the public information and access to the Gowanus Canal waterfront, canoe downstream the Gowanus Canal. Running a stretch of 1.8 miles through Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, New York, the canal was recently added to the National Priorities List and officially became an EPA Superfund site in March 2010. This has paved the way for a scheduled cleanup process of the decades-old contamination. This picture was taken during the Gowanus community’s “SuperFUN Party,” an awareness event hosted by the Dredgers in order to stir up support for the cleanup of the canal. I shot this picture on top of a bridge, near sunset. The juxtaposition between the beauty of the light reflecting off the water, and the old factory buildings, gave me a feeling of nostalgia; of grit and grime from decades past, beautiful despite their neglect. The Gowanus Canal Superfund site is unique because of its level of community involvement and support for the cleanup. Specifically, the Gowanus Dredgers have logged over 2,000 canoe trips throughout the past season, and hope that an increase in the waterfront’s popularity will prompt the local community to become advocates for the canal’s revitalization and cleanup.