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Wayward dolphin dies in polluted New York canal

brooklyn gowanus canal riverhead foundation

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#1 Hum

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:17

NEW YORK — A wayward dolphin that swam into a polluted canal on Friday died before high tide, marine experts said.

The deep-freeze weather hadn't seemed to faze the dolphin as it splashed around in the Gowanus Canal, which runs 1.5 miles through a narrow industrial zone near some of Brooklyn's wealthiest neighborhoods.

Marine experts had hoped high tide, beginning around 7:10 p.m., would help the dolphin leave the canal safely. But the dolphin was confirmed dead shortly before then, said the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, which didn't know how it died.

Earlier, with the dolphin splashing around in the filthy water, bundled-up onlookers took cellphone photos, and a news helicopter hovered overhead.

The dolphin, which appeared to be about 7 feet long, surfaced periodically and shook black gunk from its snout in the polluted water.

The New York Police Department had said marine experts with the Riverhead Foundation had planned to help the dolphin on Saturday morning if it didn't get out of the canal during high tide. The foundation, based in Riverhead, on eastern Long Island, specializes in cases involving whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles.

The filthy canal was named a Superfund site in 2010, meaning the government can force polluters to pay for its restoration. For more than a century before, coal yards, chemical factories and fuel refineries on the canal's banks discharged everything from tar to purple ink into the water, earning it the local nickname The Lavender Lake for its unnatural hue.

The dolphin likely entered the canal from the Atlantic Ocean through the Lower and Upper New York Bays and into the Gowanus Bay, which leads to the canal. It's about 20 miles from the canal to open ocean.

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#2 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:32

And toxic canals are allowed why exactly?

#3 KingCracker

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:48

And toxic canals are allowed why exactly?

They arent allowed, its a by product of decades of dumping which is now illegal.

#4 *RedBull*

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 22:00

Why didn't authorities save the dolphin? They knew the canal was toxic. If a human fell in there hopefully they'd be saved....hopefully

#5 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 22:11

They arent allowed, its a by product of decades of dumping which is now illegal.


So why hasn't anything been done about it? If businesses are responsible then they should be fined to pay for the clean-up operation; if those businesses are no longer operating then the local or federal government should be responsible for cleaning it up. The article says the canal was made a Superfund site three years ago—meaning that polluters can be held responsible for cleaning it up—yet clearly not enough has been done since. It's scandalous that such an environmental hazard hasn't been tackled, especially when the damage caused by such pollution has been known for decades.

#6 KingCracker

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 23:12

So why hasn't anything been done about it? If businesses are responsible then they should be fined to pay for the clean-up operation; if those businesses are no longer operating then the local or federal government should be responsible for cleaning it up. The article says the canal was made a Superfund site three years ago—meaning that polluters can be held responsible for cleaning it up—yet clearly not enough has been done since. It's scandalous that such an environmental hazard hasn't been tackled, especially when the damage caused by such pollution has been known for decades.

I agree, it should be cleaned up ASAP.

#7 FlintyV

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 23:32

Pretty disgusting they've let it get that bad.

#8 OP Hum

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 23:37

So why hasn't anything been done about it?


The usual reason: money.

Too many poor people to spend money on to pay for other things.

There are people living on the edge of poverty, cracked roads and bridges, dangerous buildings, and many polluted land areas and waters in the USA.

Too many problems and too little money to pay for everything. Politicians are under pressure, to not raise taxes.

Sad this little fellow had to remind us, with his life. :(

#9 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 23:52

The usual reason: money.

Too many poor people to spend money on to pay for other things.


But the bizarre thing is that the article mentions the canal is very near to some of Brooklyn's wealthiest neighbourhoods - you'd think that some of that wealth could be used to help clear up the area. You'd only need a temporary levy to pay for the clean-up and it would improve the environment for everyone in the area. Or you'd think some of the wealthy landowners could organise a fundraiser, maybe even get some corporate sponsors involved. There are plenty of ways to finance such an operation, both privately and publicly. And as mentioned, the government can force polluters to pay for the clean-up. It doesn't really matter who funds it - the point is there should be mechanisms in place to ensure that it is cleaned-up.

#10 OP Hum

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 23:56

^ Maybe now, hopefully, someone will take up the cause. ;) Let's call it, Dolphin canal ...

#11 Xilo

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:19

Too many problems and too little money to pay for everything. Politicians are under pressure, to not raise taxes.

More like politicians are too busy raising their own salaries to pay for everything else.

#12 Growled

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:01

Poor little dolphin.

#13 compl3x

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:11

And toxic canals are allowed why exactly?


Where else would scumbag companies dumb their toxic waste? There are only so many forests, and that'd be a bit of a drive.

So why hasn't anything been done about it? If businesses are responsible then they should be fined to pay for the clean-up operation; if those businesses are no longer operating then the local or federal government should be responsible for cleaning it up. The article says the canal was made a Superfund site three years ago—meaning that polluters can be held responsible for cleaning it up—yet clearly not enough has been done since. It's scandalous that such an environmental hazard hasn't been tackled, especially when the damage caused by such pollution has been known for decades.



Use tax money to provide a service to the public, increasing people's health and their pride in their community? That's socialism, brah, can't have that. Leave it as a toxic reminder about how you love freedom and hate socialism. And love guns. Or something.



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