Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Brothers Paddle Two of America’s Most Toxic Waterways: Watch the Series #BroCleanBKLN

Popular
Sam and Gary Bencheghib in Newtown Creek, Dec. 2. Marco Vitale

Environmental activists and filmmakers Gary Bencheghib and Sam Bencheghib stand up paddled the Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal Dec. 2 to show the global scope of the pollution crisis and the importance of acting now to clean our waterways.


Gary and Sam are producing an eight-part video series documenting the state of both waterways as well as interviewing experts and sustainable leaders in Brooklyn to give more insight to the current environmental situation here. The series entitled #BroCleanBKLN premiered on Facebook Dec. 7.

The French brothers started their journey at the Newtown Creek just under the Grand Street bridge and paddled outwards into the East River. The Newtown Creek located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is the oldest continuous industrial area in the U.S. and also the site of one of the largest oil spill in U.S. history, a culmination of decades of oil leakage.

Sam and Gary Bencheghib in Newtown Creek, Dec. 2. Eliana Alvarez Martinez

In 2010, the creek was also named a Superfund site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Gowanus Canal, also a Superfund site, has been referred to as "one of the most contaminated places in America," poisoned with industrial pollutants and pumped full of raw sewage. The EPA's cleanup is still in its preliminary stages and it remains highly polluted with the creek bed coated with old tires, car frames and discarded junk. Although the pollution is not entirely noticeable at first sight, the slight smell of petrol and revolting toilet smells are still persistent.

Sam and Gary Bencheghib in Gowanus Bay, Dec. 2. Marco Vitale

By both river mouths, the brother's journey quickly turned around when they saw a lot trash floating on the water's surface. So Gary and Sam decided to turn their expedition around and clean up the rivers.

"There is no more away, even in a city like New York our waterways are filled with plastics," said Sam Bencheghib.

The older brother, Gary, who has been a Brooklyn resident for the past four years said to his camera crew at the end of the expedition, "In increasingly uncertain times for our environment, there has never been a more important time than now to take action to clean up and restore our waterways. If we can start by showing a good example here in New York, the world will follow!"

MORE FROM SAM AND GARY

How Two Brothers Convinced the Indonesian Government to Clean Up the World's Most Polluted River

Meet the Brothers Kayaking Down the World's Most Polluted River

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A protest against the name of the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Nov. 2, 2014. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

The Washington Redskins will retire their controversial name and logo, the National Football League (NFL) team announced Monday.

Read More Show Less
The survival tools northern fish have used for millennia could be a disadvantage as environmental conditions warm and more fast-paced species move in. Istvan Banyai / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Alyssa Murdoch, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle and Sapna Sharma

Summer has finally arrived in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, liberating hundreds of thousands of northern stream fish from their wintering habitats.

Read More Show Less
A mother walks her children through a fountain on a warm summer day on July 12, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.

Read More Show Less
If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus. blackCAT / Getty Images

By Joni Sweet

If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of burnt areas of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019. CARLOS FABAL / AFP via Getty Images

NASA scientists say that warmer than average surface sea temperatures in the North Atlantic raise the concern for a more active hurricane season, as well as for wildfires in the Amazon thousands of miles away, according to Newsweek.

Read More Show Less
A baby receives limited treatment at a hospital in Yemen on June 27, 2020. Mohammed Hamoud / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Oxfam International warned Thursday that up to 12,000 people could die each day by the end of the year as a result of hunger linked to the coronavirus pandemic—a daily death toll surpassing the daily mortality rate from Covid-19 itself.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The 2006 oil spill was the largest incident in Philippine history and damaged 1,600 acres of mangrove forests. Shubert Ciencia / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jun N. Aguirre

An oil spill on July 3 threatens a mangrove forest on the Philippine island of Guimaras, an area only just recovering from the country's largest spill in 2006.

Read More Show Less