Local News

Dolphin stranded in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal

A dolphin, bobbing its head and seemingly injured or sick, is stranded in Brooklyn’s polluted Gowanus Canal.

The dolphin is in the area of Union Street and Nevins Street.

“This is a first. We’ve seen seals in the past. Never this,” an Emergency Service Unit officer told PIX11 News.

ESU officers had been preparing scuba tanks for a dive, though it appears a rescue isn’t imminent until at least the evening.

Authorities are waiting for the next high tide at 7:10 p.m. to see if the dolphin can free itself,  NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown said in  a statement. The NYPD will help mammal experts from the Riverhead Foundation  “when and if they decide it may be necessary to enter the water in the morning to aid  the dolphin as the tide recedes.”

“We are going to wait a few tide cycles before we go near it,” Julika Wocial of the Riverhead Foundation told PIX11 News.

Robert Mina, owner of a lot along the Gowanus where the rescue is being coordinated, was surprised to see the dolphin.

“I was a little shocked that it would come up this far,” Mina said.


Police tape is put into place at the scene where the NYPD is working on the dolphin rescue along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

He’s worried about its health, and hopes it can be rescued soon.

“It’s imperative. That water is toxic,” Mina said.


Onlookers watch the dolphin rescue efforts along the Gowanus Canal. (Mario Diaz/PIX11News)

Indeed, the Gowanus has been a toxic-waste dump for more than a century and was recently declared a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency. The designation was controversial, as it was seen as damaging development prospects in the area.

In 2007,  a whale who became known as Sludgie the Whale entered Gowanus Bay.  That whale, a baby minke, died.

Check in for updates on PIX11.com and on the PIX11 News at 5.

Rolando Pujol contributed to this report


5 Comments to “Dolphin stranded in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal”

    Arthur Z said:
    January 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Did anyone contact the environmental services yet? I think it was fist spotted around noon?

    Patricia Evans said:
    January 25, 2013 at 3:30 PM


    Ginny Zavala said:
    January 25, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    OMG Please get it out of there as soon as possible.

    Zain said:
    January 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Any updates on this story? I hope they can save it. :0(

    Spencer Johnson said:
    April 23, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I sure hope they got the dolphin out alive. A toxic waterway is no place for any life form to live.

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