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October 5, 2009

Gowanus Canal Study to Receive $134,000

Washington, DC – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved $134,000 in federal resources for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study currently underway at the Gowanus Canal and Bay.  The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations conference report.  Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) applauded the funding as the next step toward completing this important study.

“The Army Corps study is nearing completion, and its findings will play a critical role in developing our next steps for clean-up and habitat restoration at the Gowanus Canal,” Velázquez said.  “The funding approved today will move us closer to cleaning up the canal for future generations.”

The Gowanus Canal is a 1.5 mile water body that connects with New York Harbor and Hudson and East River estuaries.  Over the years, the canal has suffered decades of pollution from industrial sources, storm water runoffs and sewer overflows.  The total cost for the Gowanus Canal and Bay Ecosystems Restoration Feasibility Study is projected to be $5 million with funding equally split between the federal government and local sources.  To date, the federal government has committed $2.25 million for the study, which will help guide future efforts to clean up the canal. 

“This project is laying the groundwork for a clean future for the Gowanus Canal.  Working together, we can secure a healthy environment for the residents of Southwest Brooklyn to live, work and raise their families,” Velázquez said. 

The study will be an important step toward creating a safer and healthier community for Brooklyn residents and allowing sustainable development along the Gowanus Canal and throughout the local area.  The FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations conference report must now be approved by the Senate before being signed into law by the President.