Southern Brooklyn

Photos: Dead Horse Bay Dying Of Pollution


Oh, you’ve never heard of Dead Horse Bay? The old mill area, turned manufacturing zone (of fertilizer, created from dead animals), turned landfill, turned nature preserve – sits alongside Floyd Bennett Field by the entrance to Gerritsen Inlet. It’s rich with history, and perhaps richer with filth and pollution.

It’s the former that drew musician and photographer “chvad” to tour the area, but it’s the latter that most impressed him. He wrote, “This place and the surrounding areas don’t seem anything at all like Brooklyn. Not a lot of people and lot of vegetation. Also, an enormous amount of pollution on the shores. Some parts of the beach seemed to primarily be made of glass. If those aren’t reason enough to be careful, the beach also had it’s share of needles washed ashore.”

His slideshow, above, captures a lot of that grit and filth, yet in a hauntingly beautiful way. Check out his site to find more photos and learn about his music.

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  1. Well I’ve been to Dead Horse Bay before, for glass collecting and a few photography projects. I haven’t seen any needles there and it doesn’t smell bad or anything. In fact, the waves + the shards of glass make a nice tinkling sound.

  2. wait a sec. he doesnt think it looks like brooklyn? brooklyn is a complete dump unless you go to park slope. theres garbage all over and the entire place stinks. what is this guy talking about? coney island is about as polluted as dead horse bay

  3. Manure is created by live animals, not dead ones. The area once hosted a number of glue factories. They used dead horses and the remains were dumped into the bay. Hence, Dead Horse Bay.

  4. Most of the output from Barren Island was fertilizer made from dead animals and fish, including their bones. Very little of the horse was left to be dumped into the bay (which is now landfilled. The “Dead Horse Bay” of today is actually a dredged hole, the sand used to cover the landfill of the original Dead Horse Bay just to the south. BTW, it was named so because dead horses (and other NYC dead animals) were unloaded from barges there to supply the factories.


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