Lost Dolphin Dies in Polluted Gowanus Canal

Dolphin Stuck In Polluted Gowanus Canal
Dolphin Stuck In Polluted Gowanus Canal

A seven-foot long dolphin was seen by onlookers on Friday swimming in the highly polluted Gowanus Canal, occasionally surfacing and trying to rid itself of the dirt and gunk that was sticking to its back as it swam around looking for a way out. Unfortunately the dolphin died in the canal before the New York Police Department could move in to save it.

The sight of a dolphin in the filthy Superfund location drew a news helicopter to observe its behavior and many bystanders to photograph it and post its picture to various social media sites. The Canal is a 1.5 mile waterway cutting through many of Brooklyn’s most ritzy neighborhoods, but it is full of industrial waste from years of its use as a sewage dump. As a Superfund site since 2010 the federal government can force those guilty of polluting the waterway to pay for its cleanup.

According to the police they were waiting for the go ahead from animal experts on the scene who were hoping the dolphin would find his own way out of the filthy canal during high tide. The plan was to help the dolphin if he did not find his own way out. Unfortunately by then it was too late and the dolphin died.

The body of the dolphin was removed from the canal on Friday night, and transported to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation where researchers there will investigate the exact cause of the dolphin’s demise.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)gowanuslounge.com.