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Watch a clean water activist swim down the toxic Gowanus Canal for Earth Day

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

In honor of Earth Day, clean water activist Christopher Swain went for a swim today. A swim that happened to take place in the most polluted water way in the country, everyone’s favorite backyard Superfund site: the Gowanus Canal.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Gowanus, Brooklyn

After being delayed by the NYPD and a private property owner who didn’t want Swain to use his land to access the canal (whatever for?) Swain eventually made it into the toxic water and butterflied his way down the sludge to raise awareness about pollution. Mission accomplished?

In case you were wondering whether or not taking a dip in the Gowanus is really that disgusting, it most definitely, definitely is. In addition to heavy metals, the waterway contains bacteria, toxic chemicals and, most famously of all, Gonorrhea! The gang's all here! In fact, we can think of a number of things that would probably be safer than Swain’s swim including: picnicking on subway tracks, playing drunk Frisbee on a roof and suntanning in the middle of Eighth Avenue.

See photos of Swain’s adventurous swim below:


— Brian Baum (@BBaumEsq) April 22, 2015

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