Update 4: Well, we’ve finally found out why no one’s sending a team of divers jump into the canal and guide the dolphin to safety before it dies. They’re not allowed.
“Unfortunately, all we can do is watch and wait for the tide to rise, so the animal can get out on its down,” Riverhead Foundation senior biologist Robert DiGiovanni told reporters. “It’s not safe for us to get people in the water.”
Apparently, the water’s too toxic, and the poisonous silt on the bottom is so thick and viscous that divers risk sinking into the ten feet of “black mayonnaise.”
Update 3: Rescuers from the Riverhead Foundation have recently joined the NYPD Harbor and Emergency Service Units.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne addressed press, saying, “We are waiting for the next high tide at 7:10 p.m. to see if the dolphin can free itself,”
Update 2: The Gowanus Dolphin’s parody Twitter account has been suspended, less than 15 minutes after its first tweet.
Update: Park Slope Patch reports that the dolphin’s dorsal fin is cut and bleeding. Rebecca Rogers-Hawson of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy told reporters, “It’s the first dolphin I’ve seen in the Gowanus Canal, and it’s probably sick or injured.” Gothamist reports that police are now trying to lower a boat into the water to guide the dolphin out.
As expected, there’s already a Gowanus Dolphin Twitter account. People are unamused.
FUCK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE. RT @gowanusdolphin All I wanted was to find the South Street Seaport.
— Choire Sicha (@Choire) January 25, 2013
Original Post: NBC reported today that there’s a dolphin stuck in the Gowanus Canal. In the video above, the mammal breaches every few seconds to take a breath before disappearing again just below the mirky, filthy surface. NYPD are making plans to save it, but as of this post, the dolphin is still in the water and somehow alive.
Sadly, this comes less than a month after the EPA unveiled its $500 million initiative to clean up the Brooklyn canal. The canal is currently filled with dozens of toxic chemicals, some which even cause cancer. Local businesses have long dumped their trash into the canal, and after rains, like Hurricane Sandy, raw sewage flows freely into the water. Pollution has led to a toxic sediment bed which fills the bottom of the canal, commonly referred to as “ten feet of black mayonnaise.” It appears that in its struggle, the dolphin is disturbing this ten-foot bed, which explains the oily layer on the surface surrounding the animal.
As our Nick Pinto reported earlier, the EPA plans to reomve 600,000 cubic yards of toxic sediment from the bottom of the canal, then lay down multiple layers of gravel and sand to contain the remaining toxic sludge and protect it from being further disturbed by tides and boat traffic.
At meetings yesterday and Wednesday, community citizens rejoiced in light of the impending cleanup, which will cost the city $78 million dollars, and won’t be complete until sometime after 2020. Even after it’s over, though, the Gowanus Canal still won’t be suitable for fishing–news that doesn’t bode well for the entrapped dolphin.