“New York City's historic inlet”
The Gowanus Canal is a canal in Brooklyn, geographically on the westernmost portion of Long Island. Connected to Gowanus Bay in Upper New York Bay, the canal borders the neighborhoods of Red Hook and South Brooklyn to the west, Park Slope to the east, and Sunset Park to the south. It is 1.8 miles long. There are seven bridges over the canal, carrying Union Street, Carroll Street, Third Street, Ninth Street, Hamilton Avenue, the Gowanus Expressway and the IND Culver Line of the New York City Subway. Once a busy cargo transportation hub, the canal is now recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States. The canal's history has paralleled the decline of domestic shipping via water. A legacy of serious environmental problems has beset the area from the time the canal arose from the local tidal wetlands and fresh waterstreams. In recent years, there has been a call once again for environmental cleanup. In addition, development pressures have brought speculation that the wetlands of the Gowanus should serve waterfront economic development needs which may not be compatible with environmental restoration.
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