"BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- With each steady stroke, John Lipscomb inched the canoe deeper into an infamous urban waterway. The water surrounding the boat grew increasingly murky; the sulphuric stench more offensive."
"'Onward we go into the heart of darkness,' said Lipscomb, boat captain for the clean water advocacy group Riverkeeper, as the tips of his oars again disappeared beneath the grey-brown surface of the Gowanus Canal.
Before long, the floating debris became too dense to outmaneuver. Tampons, condoms and human feces -- mixed with plastic lids, straws and wrappers -- bobbed around the boat, re-assorting with each stroke."