New York City to install 90 curbside bioswales to help clean Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal

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Bioswale. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

Bioswale. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

As new apartment buildings continue to rise in Gowanus, Brooklyn, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced plans to install 90 bioswales nearby in hopes of cleaning the neighborhood’s eponymous—and oh-so-polluted—canal.

Bioswale. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

Bioswale. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

Bioswales will be planted at these sites in Brooklyn this summer. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

Bioswales will be planted at these sites in Brooklyn this summer. (Courtesy NYC DEP)

DNAinfo reported that starting this summer, the DEP will plan the so-called “curbside gardens” in hopes of soaking up about 8 million gallons of stormwater runoff, ultimately helping the overall ecological well-being of the Gowanus Canal.

“Investing in green infrastructure is a cost-effective way to improve the health of the Gowanus Canal, green neighborhood streets and clean the air we all breathe,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd in a statement to DNAinfo. This bioswale program is part of New York City‘s larger, multi-billion dollar effort to use green infrastructure to capture stormwater and beautify streets.

As AN reported last fall: “Thanks to a landmark 2012 settlement with state environmental officials, New York City finally is taking major steps to manage stormwater near contaminated waterways that don’t comply with the Clean Water Act, such as the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. The initiative includes an ambitious plan to spend $2.4 billion on green infrastructure, which can include streetscapes designed with materials such as structural soil and permeable pavers.”

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