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June 14, 2000

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-5371)

Municipal Art Society of New York Awards Department of Environmental Protection Certificate of Merit for Repair of Gowanus Flushing Tunnel

At a ceremony on June 12, 2000, the Municipal Art Society awarded the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) a Certificate of Merit for its role in revitalizing and resurrecting Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal and transforming it from a “fetid, smelly, oily waterway that cuts through the heart of brownstone Brooklyn” into a ... “home to fish, blue crabs, ducks, and even oysters.” DEP shares the award with Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto, a member of the Gowanus Canal neighborhood community, whose tireless efforts over more than three decades saw his dream realized.

Commissioner Miele said, “We are most appreciative of the Municipal Art Society's recognition of the completion of this important project. The man-made Gowanus Canal was built in 1860 for navigational purposes. In 1911 to prevent stagnation in the canal due to limited tidal exchanges, a flushing tunnel was built to facilitate an exchange of oxygen from Buttermilk Channel in the East River. In the 1960s, the flushing mechanism was damaged and ceased operations. It was not until 1992 that the City initiated a project to revitalize the Canal and rescue it from its torpid and stagnant state. We are proud that the long-awaited restoration of the flushing tunnel is complete, due to a combination of Mr. Scotto's tireless work on behalf of his community and Mayor Giuliani's vision for revitalizing the City.”


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600