Share This Page

Wayward dolphin surprises New Yorkers

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

NEW YORK — A dolphin swam into a polluted canal on Friday, and marine experts watched to see if it would head back out to the ocean on its own or would need help.

The deep-freeze weather did not seem to faze the dolphin as it splashed around in the Gowanus Canal, which runs 1.5 miles through a narrow industrial zone near some of Brooklyn's wealthiest neighborhoods.

Bundled-up onlookers took cellphone photos, and a news helicopter hovered overhead.

The dolphin, which appeared to be about 7 feet long, surfaced periodically and shook black gunk from its snout in the polluted water.

The New York Police Department said marine experts with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave the canal on its own during high tide, which lasts from about 7:10 p.m. until Saturday morning. If not, they planned to lend a hand on Saturday.

The foundation, based in Riverhead, on eastern Long Island, specializes in cases involving whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles.

The filthy canal was named a Superfund site in 2010, meaning the government can force polluters to pay for its restoration.

For more than a century before, coal yards, chemical factories and fuel refineries on the canal's banks discharged everything from tar to purple ink into the water, earning it the local nickname The Lavender Lake.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.