Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club

Our Programming

Self-Guided Voyages (Walk-Up Paddling)

Direct Contact Matters!

This is the Gowanus Dredgers original and most popular program. By canoeing Gowanus, you are joining a crew of advocates who are promoting awareness of harbor contamination issues. Reconnecting with nature is beneficial to your health, even on a waterway that has historical contaminated sediment the EPA plans to remove.  

Due to active cleanup of the canal under the EPA Superfund program, recreational boating is limited within the Gowanus Canal, and the EPA has closed the public dock at the end of 2nd St. We have a new launch site at the end of 19th Street. Unless otherwise noted, ALL canoe trips depart from our Bunker Launch site at 19th. Be sure to Subscribe to our e-list for updates and view our calendar for information about other activities we have scheduled.

Participants utilize club canoes for a short paddle inside the protected Canal and the Gowanus Bay area near our dock at 19th St. We may ask you to limit your trip to 20 min. if others are waiting to canoe.  After being fitted with a life jacket (which must be worn at all times) at the dock, we give instruction on how to paddle, safety tips on how to use a canoe and we help with boarding and supervise your departure. Participants explore the estuary at their own pace and enjoy discovering the canal’s unique mix of wildlife and urban waterway infrastructure.  All participants must sign a waiver, participants under 18 require a guardian signature. 

Please check our Calendar to confirm scheduled walk-up canoeing dates.  Programs may be canceled if there’s rain 30 min. prior to start time. 

Guided Tours

Join us on one of our guided tours! These generally run about an hour and a half, and depart from our 19th St. Bunker Launch site. Check our calendar or our Eventbrite listings for scheduled tours. Guided tours will venture out as a group, led by our volunteer Trip Leaders. Tours are often themed; join us to look for birds, learn about the history of the waterway, take in a glorious sunset or paddle in the magical light of the full moon. Have an idea for a themed tour? Let us know! 

Special Programs

On occasion, we run special programs to focus on a particular aspect of our mission. Some of our regular programs include:

  • Creekers’ Jamboree
    A celebration of Americana Folk Music in the Boathouse
  • Boathouse Jam
    Weekly community folk music jam session, open to all skill levels.
  • Arts Gowanus
    Our Boathouse walls serve as a curated gallery for local artists during our on-water season
  • Mighty Mussels
    Mussel surveys and habitat restoration led by Gary Francis, champion of our favorite bi-valve
  • Paddle-in Movies
    Movie screenings along the canal
  • Poetry
    Monthly poetry readings at the boathouse and on-water reading for special events
  • Spring Cleaning Reopening of Boathouse, Shoreline & Dock
    Event where volunteers collect & remove bags of trash from our shoreline, estuary, sustain life and prevent future dumping
WHAT A SEASON! by Gowanus Dredgers
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