Newtown Creek, the 3.5 mile-long waterway that separates Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most polluted industrial sites in America. The creek water contains hundreds of years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million gallons of spilled oil, and raw sewage from New York City’s antiquated sewer system. To make matters worse, there is no current in the creek, and over the years the sludge has congealed into a 15-foot thick layer of “black mayonnaise” on the creekbed.
Creek advocates like the Newtown Creek Alliance and Riverkeeper argue the creek could be a wonderful recreational waterway for New York City. They imagine a marina and access to the creek’s banks. But before that can happen, the creek needs to be cleaned up. So what effort has been made to restore Newtown Creek? Here are brief descriptions of the most significant remediation plans to date. (more…)