In the no-man's-land between Brooklyn and Queens, a 3.8-mile-long river known as Newton Creek has attained the dubious distinction of being one of the most polluted bodies of water in all of North America. And yet the toilet of New York City's industrial revolution for the past 150 years is slowly coming back to life, reports Bloomberg's Grid blog.
Fish, birds, and plants have all returned to the creek, despite the fact that about 1 million cubic yards of dirt in the bottom of the creek are contaminated with heavy metals. The EPA has put up signs warning that pregnant women should not "eat fish or eels caught in these waters" — but hey, at least there are fish and eels in the water! That’s a change!
While the glue factories and petrochemical refineries are mostly gone from the shores of Newton Creek, it still gets flushed with about 3 million gallons of raw sewage — overflow from the city's aging and overwhelmed treatment system — almost every time it rains. And yet the Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant features a Nature Walk "designed by environmental sculpture artist George Trakas." Sounds like a lovely place for a first date!