Over a year ago, the Gowanus community heard the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s plan to create a “Sponge Park” on a Verizon parking lot near the highly-polluted canal.  Today, the Brooklyn Paper reports that Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Carroll Gardens) has earmarked $300,000 to implement a pilot version of this community-based plan.

The Conservancy envisions the park as a tool to help reduce runoff into the canal, and to help soak up toxins from the waterway, which is so polluted that the EPA is currently considering it for federal Superfund status.  (The City opposes this pottential designation, arguing that it could manage the cleanup more effectively.)

The $300,000 is not enough to implement the full park, the Brooklyn Paper reports, but could potentially result in a one-block esplanade.