In 1999, a New York City-led cleanup effort involved repairs to the Gowanus Canal flushing tunnel and a partial dredging at the head of the waterway. The divers had challenging conditions, coming out covered in oil and tar and working conditions with no visibility underwater.

The results were immediate, with an increase in fish and wildlife. The politicians jumped on the bandwagon, patting themselves on the back for making major changes along the canal.

In early 2000, the Head of the Army Corps of Engineers and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection reps tour the canal by boat, announcing a $3 million study to evaluate cleanup options on the canal. 

All images are ©Mark D Phillips. Photos may be licensed and downloaded through our site.

All images are ©Mark D Phillips. Photos may be licensed and downloaded through our site.