The Gowanus Canal is a 1.5 mile, man-made waterway extending northward from the Gowanus Bay in Brooklyn. It lies in a valley, making it the receiving body for a six-square mile watershed area, which includes the adjacent neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and ParkSlope. The Canal has been the subject of extensive and successive human intervention throughout its history. In order to address water quality concerns, New York City has been investing in mitigating Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) for decades.
Further steps towards improving water quality issues in the Gowanus Canal were created by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) CSO Consent Order of 2005. This CSO Consent Order required DEP to prepare a facility plan for the Gowanus Canal, which received DEC’s approval in July of 2009.