2. The East River Is Only Safe for Secondary Contact

You may be tempted to take a dip in the East River, but its waters are still dangerous to swim in due to heavy pollution. Although it’s cleaner than it had been for decades, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) categorizes the lower East River under “Use Classification I.” As of 2010, it’s only safe for secondary contact activities like boating and recreational fishing (although that doesn’t stop some people from tackling the annual “Brooklyn Bridge Swim“).