Man raises clean-water awareness with Gowanus Canal swim

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BROOKLYN -

A clean-water advocate swam across the Gowanus Canal Sunday to bring attention to the polluted waterway.

This is the third time that Christopher Swain, 50, has made the swim across the canal.

The federal government is in the process of cleaning the toxic sludge at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal, but Swain says more still needs to be done. He wants it to be safe for swimming every day.

In order to protect himself from the raw sewage, Swain wore a puncture-resistant search-and-rescue dry suit, with ear plugs, a silicone cap, gloves, boots and swim goggles.

He says the swim was still challenging. He hit some debris in the water and also swallowed some of it. Swain had to wash his mouth out with hydrogen peroxide and douse himself with diluted bleach after the swim.

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