From DNA Info:
Critics are calling a boat race on the Gowanus Canal this weekend an "irresponsible" stunt designed to advance a pro-development agenda.
They point to the fact that the Lightstone Group, a developer that wants to build a 700-unit housing project on the polluted canal's banks, is a sponsor of the race.
"Lightstone is trying to send the message out that it's safe to be in the canal and it's not as bad as everyone says, but I think most likely it's worse than everyone says," said Carl Teitelbaum, a member of Save Gowanus, which advocates for "responsible development" on the canal.
He noted that recent heavy rains have churned up putrid scents from the canal. "The idea of putting people in there, of putting kids in there — it's completely crazy," Teitelbaum said.
Close to 30 teams have signed up to brave the canal's toxin-laden waters — which are a SuperFund site — during a regatta this Saturday. The field of competitors includes a Canadian team, a paddle boarder and City Councilman Brad Lander.