The Gowanus Community Advisory Group, the organization that oversees the canal’s cleanup, wants to create a taxpayer-funded cartoon mascot to “demystify” the 10-year cleanup project, says the New York Post.
“The cleanup will be long, boring and probably disgusting, so we want to make sure people are aware of what’s going on in an easy and fun way,” Eymund Diegel, a GCAG member, told the Post.
According to the article, the Environmental Protection Agency has said they do not have any funds for the mascot project, and the city may be asked to foot the bill to create something like the Parks Department’s Pearl the Squirrel.
The four major candidates for the mascot role are, according to the Post:
- Muck the Shark, which is based on a large shark found swimming in the canal in 1950, which was shot by cops by bystanders watched.
- Gowanda the Seal, based on a harp seal rescued from the waterway in 2003 and nursed back to health.
- Sludgie the Whale, based on a 12-foot minke whale that found itself trapped in the canal in 2007, and eventually died in the water.
- GoGo the Muskrat, based on a rodent found building a nest with weed remnants of a floating garden in the canal, who environmentalists says is a sign that the canal is getting cleaner.