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From the New York Times, a photographic essay of the flotsam found in some of the city’s waterways: 

When Willis Elkins, a Houston native, began exploring New York City by canoe in 2008, he was interested in studying the infrastructure and collecting some flotsam. “How the waterways work,” he says, is connected to “how we discard objects.” There were plenty of them, too, washed up in places like the mouth of Newtown Creek, where the items pictured here were found on a single day in May. Elkins, who works at a nonprofit that focuses on environmental issues, notes that much of the trash that washes ashore in the city isn’t there because of careless littering; it is discarded but ends up in the water when a rainstorm pushes the sewage system to capacity. But, he says, “people think that once you put it in the trash can, the problem no longer exists, basically.”

(Photos by Jens Mortensen)

From the New York Times, a photographic essay of the flotsam found in some of the city’s waterways:

When Willis Elkins, a Houston native, began exploring New York City by canoe in 2008, he was interested in studying the infrastructure and collecting some flotsam. “How the waterways work,” he says, is connected to “how we discard objects.” There were plenty of them, too, washed up in places like the mouth of Newtown Creek, where the items pictured here were found on a single day in May. Elkins, who works at a nonprofit that focuses on environmental issues, notes that much of the trash that washes ashore in the city isn’t there because of careless littering; it is discarded but ends up in the water when a rainstorm pushes the sewage system to capacity. But, he says, “people think that once you put it in the trash can, the problem no longer exists, basically.”

(Photos by Jens Mortensen)