NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Are you up for the Gowanus Challenge?
A Brooklyn canoe club is organizing a 2.5-mile boat race through the heavily polluted Gowanus Canal which was declared a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010.
In 2011, the EPA called the canal “one of the most contaminated water bodies in the nation.” Earlier this year, a sickly dolphin died after becoming stranded in the contaminated canal.
But despite the canal’s oily green chemical-laden waters, Owen Foote, co-founder of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, said the mile-long trip out to the bay is all beauty and wildlife.
“We see tugboats, sunsets, a tremendous amount of wildlife,” Foote said, admitting that there are some downsides to paddling through a Superfund site. “The canal, whether you’re on land or on water, can sometimes be a bit smelly, but once you’re out in Gowanus Bay you really don’t smell it at all.”