Activist tries to swim length of Gowanus Canal

He wants the contaminated canal to eventually be safe to swim in.

He wants the contaminated canal to eventually be safe to swim in. (4/22/15)

BROOKLYN - In honor of Earth Day, an environmental activist attempted to swim the length of the Gowanus Canal. 

Christopher Swain is the first person to attempt to swim the entire 1.8-mile canal. Swain was cheered on as he dropped into the stretch of toxin-filled water. Swain said the water is not safe to swim in and that's why he was trying to make the point.

The Environmental Protection Agency calls it one of the country's most contaminated bodies of water. The agency has labeled it a Superfund site that's in desperate need of a cleanup.

Swain wore protective gear but ended up stopping in front of the Whole Foods store because of concerns over approaching storms.

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