Clean water advocate swims heavily polluted Gowanus Canal

GOWANUS, Brooklyn —The man who became the first person in history to swim the Gowanus Canal did it again and swam the heavily polluted waterway.

To celebrate Earth Day, Christopher Swain swam near the mouth of the Gowanus Canal to the new waterfront park at 365 Bond Street in Brooklyn as he continues to campaign for full cleanup of the waterway..

Swain was escorted by a safety crewmember as he swam one of America’s most polluted waterways.

Why would someone want to swim a toxic body of water more than once?

His goal is to have the Gowanus Canal safe for swimming every day.

“My Gowanus Canal swims in 2015 energized an EPA-led cleanup that promises to remove the 10-20-foot-deep layer of toxic sludge at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal. But that’s just a partial cleanup.  It won’t leave us with a Canal that is safe for swimming every day, as required by Federal Law. I want us to finish the job. So, I am calling for a comprehensive cleanup that includes a permanent end to all sewage discharges to the Gowanus Canal, and—once the Canal is clean—public access points for swimmers,” he said.

Swain compared the actions done to clean the Gowanus to cleaning your room when you’re younger, getting it half done. “It’s not done,” he said, “Let’s not stop until the Gowanus is clean.”

Swain shared an Instagram video of some of the debris and sewage that swam through, hoping it will push for the cleanup of the waterway.