What is Gowanus?
The Gowan's Conservancy in Brooklyn is a unique environment. Throughout history, it served different functions and was an essential part of Brooklyn's neighborhood. The canal area was a very recognizable place for native Americans even before the city of New York was founded.
But it has a problem: it's polluted, which means it is really dirty. However, there are a lot of animals and plants who live there.
Clean water can be seen and it's essential for humans, animals and plants. Nature relies on clean water and it is actually relatively simple to measure. Furthermore, clean water has no bad smell and looks good. This means polluted water is easy to detect that if there is a very strange smell or if it looks bad.
Scientists are interested in knowing the exact values, like numbers. They will use certain numbers to compare the water with other waters that are scientifically clean. Chemicals can help them to get realtime results.
Clean air helps nature breathing. It is a little bit more tricky to measure clean air, because it will nit stay at one place. This means a factory or traffic can make the air in a specific ares really bad, even if it's relatively far away.
Nevertheless, clean air remains one of the most interesting factors for the future of Gowan's. Special instruments help us to detect the air quality and compare it to other values.