BROOKLYN - City officials have announced plans to move forward with a so-called sponge park next to the Gowanus Canal.

The park is designed to capture and retain storm runoff, helping to improve water quality in the contaminated canal.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it will also beautify the area as native plants absorb the storm water.

Construction on the $1.5 million project is expected to start next year on 2nd Street. It should be open by the summer of 2015.