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Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010

FIRST STREET BASIN

Discussion Material for how the First Street Basin Restoration Plan could become part of a joint NYCDEP / USEPA effort to remove Canal contaminants and reduce Combined Sewer Overflows DRAFT materials for Superfund Water Quality and Archeology CAG discussions, prepared by Eymund Diegel, eymund@gmail.com


A MILLION GALLONS PER DAY OF SEWAGE GO INTO THE CANAL


GOWANUS STREETS FLOOD

JULY 2007, CARROLL & 4TH AVE


BECAUSE OF BAD PLANNING EVEN BRIDGES FLOOD SEPTEMBER 2011, 3RD STREET BRIDGE & GOWANUS CANAL


We should be trying to restore natural historical streams instead of always fighting with them. How can we do this ? Because Gowanus Tidal water was too salty to drink, early colonial homes chose sites next NATURAL FRESH WATER SPRINGS. Many of these are still feeding streams visible at low tide in the Canal As the City seeks to improve its “Green Infrastructure” to reduce sewer overflows to the Canal, we need to find out more about these historical springs. Gowanus Creek & Tidal Marshes – 1766 Ratzer Map

POTENTIAL HISTORIC SPRING SITE


RECONSTRUCTING THE PATH OF THE GOWANUS WATERSHED’S HISTORIC STREAM… How can we get rainwater out of the sewers and back into the historical stream system ? We need more research… POTENTIAL STREAM OUTFLOW SITE ArcHydro Gowanus Watershed Flow Map by Eymund Diegel, 2010, based on a 2004 Digital Elevation Model. The blue lines represent the way rainwater would flow if their were no buildings or street drains. Though hypothetical, the flow directions gives clues to the path of historic stream beds, major street regradings, and potential underground aquifer flows. The blue blobs represent “sinks” or pools in the contours where rainwater would tend to pond. These all represent “opportunity sites” for Green Infrastructure to improve the Canal’s water quality. I have found this model accurately depicts why my neighbor’s basement floods on Sackett Street (the old Bergen Creek watercourse)


URBAN WATER CYCLE IT RAINS

WATER GOES INTO PIPE

versus ECOLOGICAL WATER CYCLE EVAPORATION IT RAINS CONDENSATION SOME WATER GOES INTO PIPE

Water Sensitive Urban Design What could the City do to get more rainwater to discharge directly to the Canal?

INFILTRATION & & HISTORIC STREAM RESTORATION

How can we get more rainwater out of the sewers and back into the historical surface and sub-surface stream system ? :

1766 Historical Watershed Modeling by Lucas Kronawitter, 2011 ArcHydro Watershed Flow Map by Eymund Diegel, 2010 Grass by Albrecht Durer, 1503


23 September 2011 Flooding picture from Katia Kelly’s Pardon me for Asking blog, via reader

2011 – Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club archives

Carroll Street Bridge next to the 1st Street Basin:

Gowanus Canal at 3rd Street Bridge:

The OH-005 Combine Sewer Overflow (CSO) discharges 5 million gallons per year of diluted raw sewage into the Canal. Gowanus CSOs discharge an averaged MILLION GALLONS PER DAY of diluted raw sewage into the Canal. This is where DEP wants to put the new 20 million dollar Carroll Street storm drain.

Minor rains clog street drains and create traffic hazards. The neighborhood has consistently complained of the City’s badly planned storm water management infrastructure. In this case the street drain is clogged. A simple cut through the street curb allowing rainwater to drain to the Canal would solve the problem.

July 2007 Flooding at 4th Avenue & Carroll Street – Brownstoner blog

What might be Alternatives ? “When it rains, the streets are flooded, and the surface drains become a nuisance instead of a help.. Connection with the canal which is only sixty or a hundred feet away, would remove all the trouble.” CONDITION OF BROOKLYN'S STREETS AND HOUSES. Some Objectionable Italian Tenements and Pestilential Dumping Grounds, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9 May 1885

WHAT ROLE COULD THE RESTORATION OF THE FIRST STREET BASIN PLAY IN IMPLEMENTING THIS CENTURY OLD WATER ADVICE?


1766 Ratzer Map from the Hall of the Gowanus Historical Map Collection www.proteusgowanus.org

The First Street Basin: a buried historical site with enormous potential

We should be trying to restore some of the natural historical streams instead of always fighting with them. Could the City’s Blue Belt and Green Infrastructure program be used to solve problems near the Gowanus Canal? Could the First Street Basin be a HISTORICAL WATER PARK prototype ?


Aero Service Aerials, 1951

LANDFILLED DURING 1960’S BY TRUCKS COMING AT NIGHT FEDERAL CLEANUP INVESTIGATION FOUND TOXIC LEVELS OF MERCURY

Above: 1951 Aerial with Boats Below: 2011 View of Filled Basin

WILL NEED EXCAVATION

WHAT CAN WE FIND OUT ?


FIRST STREET BASIN SITE

Map: Bernard Ratzer,1766

Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858


IF SUPERFUND WERE TO EXCAVATE THE MERCURY CONTAMINATED FIRST STREET BASIN LANDFILL, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ? 1)  A constructed “Bluebelt” wetland fed by rainwater from the DEP’s new 20 million dollar Carroll Street Storm Sewer project. 2)  A community Gowanus Dredgers Boat House and Gowanus Canal Conservancy Environmental Education Center with a restored water mill children’s play park. 3)  A parking lot for the new Africa Israel condominium project, with tax payer funding for seized public land. 4)  Nothing. We like the landfill just the way it is.

Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858, viewed from what is now the Carroll Street Bridge

APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE FIRST STREET BASIN


1766 stream overlay

COULD THIS SPRING STILL BE RUNNING ?


1766 stream


Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010


Birds and Fish as guides to where the clean water is for restoration opportunities

Heron photo: 2007 Bob Gusskind


3rd Ave & 3rd Street photo of Whole Foods site contaminated soil excavation pits showing brief reappearance of historic Denton Mills Pond: 2007 Bob Gusskind


Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010 Overlays do not necessarily reflect dland’s original design, and are for community discussion purposes only

Resolution for Discussion: The City and USEPA should work together to: 1- Restore the Contaminated First Street Basin and 2nd Street Right of Way as Green Infrastructure Prototypes to reduce sewage discharges to Canal 2- Reclaim the Canal land frontage between 1st and 2nd Street and build a Battle of Brooklyn Public Park to commemorate an important site of the American Revolution

Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858

Profile for Hall of the Gowanus Digital Library

First Street Basin Historic Water Park Discussion Material  

This is community discussion material being developed for a proposed Battle of Brooklyn Historic Water Park that could be built in the now f...

First Street Basin Historic Water Park Discussion Material  

This is community discussion material being developed for a proposed Battle of Brooklyn Historic Water Park that could be built in the now f...

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