Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gowanus Patrol 7/2/12

We patrolled the Gowanus Canal using an aluminum skiff which we carry aboard our “Mother Ship” patrol boat, the R. Ian Fletcher.

The Feds, the EPA, are mandating a massive Superfund cleanup on the Gowanus. NYC and NYC Department of Environmental Protection continue to resist, “don’t worry, trust us, we’ve got a plan, we’ll take care of it.”

This is what we saw on the July 2nd. Just my opinion, but I don’t think we can leave it to NYC anymore. We spent the day taking educators, local bloggers and activists on patrols in the skiff so they would have these sites, and smells, firmly in mind when they went to a public meeting on the proposed EPA cleanup that evening in Brooklyn.

Message to the EPA…please BRING IT, and thanks.

Gull has faith
A Combined Sewer Overflow. One of many. The water is black near the outfall.

When we stir up bottom sediment it’s putrid
Public access

Gowanus snot hanging off a power cable

I'm not really sure this is water anymore. 

Massive, garage door size Combined Sewer Overflows at the inner/north end of the Canal. This wouldn’t be such a fun place in rain. A water slide from Hell.
A dead rat

A beautiful Black Crested Night Heron on the ladder at the public launch. The Gowanus used to be a beautiful and wonderfully productive salt marsh.  Life waits for us to make it so again.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Fetching Data With DEC Fisheries

We were out this morning helping the DEC fisheries team retrieve data from their hydrophone buoy just south of Hastings. The hydrophone tracks tagged Atlantic Sturgeon and Shad as they enter and exit the River.

If you don't know where the fish are you can't protect them!

Hauling the buoy out of the water

That's less than a year of growth on the hydrophone!

Scrubbing the hydrophone off so that data can be read.
Removing the data!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

8 Bridges Swim in the Harbor

Yesterday we had the opportunity to meet up with the 8 Bridges Swim in New York Harbor as they approached their final destination at the Verrazano.  

Now in its second year, the 8 Bridges Swim ran for a week from the Rip Van Winkle Bridge near Catskill to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City, covering 120 miles of river.  Part of the proceeds from the swim benefit Riverkeeper's water quality program.

There's something pretty magical about seeing all these folks in the water, swimming to raise awareness for the Hudson River as giant tugs and tankers go by. I always feel a bit like a bug in a bowling alley when patrolling through the Harbor, so I can't even imagine what it's like to be swimming!

Credit: Greg Porteus
Credit: Rob Friedman
Credit: Rob Friedman
Cheers to our friends at Launch 5 and all participants for another successful year of swimming for a clean Hudson River!