Dye turns Gowanus Canal emerald green

Seeing green: The DEP poured a harmless green dye into sewers that funnel into the Gowanus Canal by the Carroll Street Bridge on Thursday.
Janell Baptista

Usually it’s the Gowanus Canal that turns people green.

Environmental officials planted a harmless green dye in the Gowanus Canal on Thursday to test nearby sewer lines, turning the putrid canal into a neon emerald shade that alarmed some passersby.

“This is wild,” said Janell Baptista, who posted a video of the glowing Gowanus from the Carroll Street Bridge on his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon. “Just worried for the people around this area who live here!”

Edward Timber, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, claimed that the dye was harmless, and that it would dissipate naturally. By Friday, the canal had turned a more subtle shade of turquoise, and locals familiar with the notoriously contaminated Superfund site remained unfazed by the odd hue.

“I wouldn’t have noticed,” said Sarah King, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who works near the canal. “I think I only notice if it smells worse.”

Other residents said that the filthy canal dons different shades of green that change with the seasons, like foliage.

“In the summer, it’s sort of a lime green,” said Sarah Kovacs, a Gowanus resident of 10 years, who added that the river’s jade coloring was actually a bit of an improvement.

“It looks clearer,” she said.

Another Brooklyn resident also praised the canal’s new color, but noted that it was far from natural-looking.

“It’s kinda pretty,” siad Danny Walton. “But lots of pretty things are terrible.”

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Evergreen: The Gowanus Canal turned a subtle shade of green after DEP officials poured green dye into the waterway, which didn’t faze most locals.
Photo by Rose Adams

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