Dolphin stranded in Gowanus Canal dies - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Dolphin stranded in Gowanus Canal dies

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A dolphin that appeared to be stuck in the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn has died, authorities said. 

The NYPD and marine mammal experts from the Riverhead Foundation responded to the scene.

Earlier in the evening, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that the mammal experts recommended waiting for the next high tide at 7:10 p.m. to see if the dolphin could free itself.

But by around 6 p.m. the dolphin appeared to beach itself on some rocks and lay motionless. Police put up yellow tape and asked crowds and reporters to move back.

Riverhead Foundation personnel soon confirmed that the animal had died.

It is not clear how long the dolphin had been in the canal, which is heavily polluted and has been designated a Superfund site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Gowanus Canal was originally built in 1869 as a transportation route for manufactured gas plants, mills, tanneries, and chemical plants in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Gowanus, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook.

After more than a century of storm water runoff, sewer discharges, and industrial waste, the canal has become one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States, the EPA said.

"Contaminants include PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics," according to the EPA website.

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