In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Salt Lot experienced a beating; based on the water line observed on buildings and cement blocks, roughly 3 feet of water inundated the Lot, contaminating nearly all of our supplies. All of our tools needed a thorough disinfecting. There was additionally much debris deposited in various parts of the Lot–some even drifted from the Whole Foods construction site. Our rain garden and trees made it through the storm intact; however, the Native Seed Restoration Plots were woefully destroyed.

Additionally, the compost was deemed salvageable, but will only be used in the Salt Lot. We will be creating a new compost windrow on November 18, from 11 am to 3 pm as a Clean & Green event. All are welcome to join us at the Salt Lot on 2 Second Ave, Brooklyn.

The flood deposited most of the materials in the back of the Salt Lot.

One of our toolboxes swimming in Gowanus Canal water:

Our Volunteer Committee worked throughout the morning and afternoon on Wednesday disinfecting all of our tools, picking up trash, and moving the contaminated compost with a rented Bobcat. We took precautions against the toxic sediment and standing water by wearing Tyvek suits and rubber gloves. For more information on dealing with supplies coming in contact with canal water, please visit the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene statement regarding exposure to waters containing sewage, found here, and a more comprehensive listing of precautions by the CDC found here.

Andy, Chairman/Bobcat operator.

All in all, the Salt Lot will continue chugging along through the rest of the year’s Clean & Green events, and in years to come!