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Dolphin Stuck in Toxic Brooklyn Canal

By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 25, 2013 Last Updated: January 27, 2013
Related articles: United States » New York City
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Officials stand on the side of the Gowanus Canal, while a dolphin comes up for air, in Brooklyn, New York, on Jan. 25, 2013. The dolphin is stuck in the canal but officials are hoping it can find a way out during the next high tide. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Officials stand on the side of the Gowanus Canal, while a dolphin comes up for air, in Brooklyn, New York, on Jan. 25, 2013. The dolphin is stuck in the canal but officials are hoping it can find a way out during the next high tide. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—A dolphin that appears injured was found struggling in the Gowanus Canal on Friday. 

The Gowanus Canal, located in Brooklyn, is “one of the worst polluted water ways in the nation,” said Mary Mear of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011. The canal contains contaminants such as liquid tar, heavy metals, and PCBs. The EPA has labeled the canal a Superfund site and is working on a plan to clean it up.

How the dolphin entered the waterway is currently a mystery. It appears to have a bloody fin, according to video footage.

“It’s the first dolphin I’ve seen in the Gowanus Canal,” said Rebecca Rogers-Hawson of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, according to the Patch.

The NYPD Harbor and Emergency Service Units have converged on the scene, as well as a team of marine mammal experts from the Long Island-based Riverhead Foundation.

The dolphin is a common one, an adult, and 6 to 7 feet long and about 200 pounds, Julika Wocial, a marine biologist with the foundation, told DNAinfo.

Wocial said it’s rare to see a dolphin alone because they’re social animals.

“We are waiting for the next high tide at 7:10 p.m. to see if the dolphin can free itself, and will standby to assist Riverhead Foundation personnel when and if they decide it may be necessary to enter the water in the morning to aid the dolphin as the tide recedes,” said Paul J. Browne, deputy police commissioner.

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