The native Lenape Indian tribe had fished and hunted the Gowanus Creek since the Ice Age. Gowanus Creek was first explored by Henry Hudson and Giovanni da Verrazzano. The Dutch bought the land to raise tobacco and later built a grist mill to process wheat and corn.
The Dutch also harvested oysters by the billions.
The city of Brooklyn grew up around the creek.
Factories and mills lined the shores.
The run-off from these industries killed off the oysters.
The creek now a canal was dead.
The factories are gone.
The creek remains a major Superfund site for the EPA.
Dams at the mouth of the creek prevent the urging of the Gowanus, which is probably for the better, since the pollutants would endanger the rejuvenation of New York Harbor.
Such is the progress of Man.
ps the source of the Gowanus Canal is buried just north of Union Street and while a dolphin died in the narrow channel in 2013, that herons, egrets, bats, Canada geese, small fish and crabs are returning to the Gowanus.
Such is the forgiveness of Nature.