Today’s news:

Green near for Sponge Park

Sponge Park came one step closer to absorbing some cash last week, a federal lawmaker announced.

The House of Representatives approved the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, which included $300,000 for the esplanade park along the Gowanus Canal. The funds were earmarked by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, and will help fund a portion of the entire project, whose cost has not been determined. The money will be channeled through the not for profit Gowanus Canal Conservancy, which initiated the park project.

“Our neighbors living near the Gowanus Canal deserve a healthy environment, with plenty of public space where they can enjoy this urban waterfront.This project will decrease water pollution from surface runoff and bring long-term benefits to the beautiful and vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood,” Velázquez said in a statement.

The “sponge” in the park’s metaphorical title refers to the biological action undertaken by an array of greenery that is expected to act as natural filters to soak up pollutants in and around the canal, a potential Superfund site, and one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country. The park, designed by Clinton Street-based dLandstudio, would also help soak up sewer overflows that give the canal its trademark stench. Velázquez said strategies put in place will “significantly decrease” the amount of runoff entering the Canal and remediate contaminants in the water

Plans for the park were introduced April 2008. “For decades, industrial and environmental pollution have plagued the Gowanus Canal. By joining together with community advocates and environmentalists, we can clean up the canal and make this a better place for the working families who live in Brooklyn,” Velázquez said.

The bill was approved in the House by a vote of 247-178.It now goes to the Senate for final approval before being signed into law by the President.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group