DEP will partner with watershed community groups to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will team up with school groups, business leaders, local nonprofits and citizens across the watershed to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. More than 150 volunteers are expected to participate in Reservoir Cleanup Day on Oct. 4 to remove debris from areas that are generally used for fishing and boating access. The effort is co-sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corporation, which will provide gloves and bags for the volunteers.
This year’s cleanup follows a successful effort in 2014, which removed an estimated 2,500 pounds of recyclables and debris from dozens of miles of shorelines at Cannonsville, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs. Volunteers last year collected 114 bags of debris that had blown onto reservoir property from nearby roads, or had washed ashore from recent storms. Some had also been left behind at public access areas for fishing and boating.
DEP’s Reservoir Cleanup Day is among dozens of similar events happening across the state as part of the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Cleanup, which organizes volunteers to remove debris from beaches, lakes and other popular bodies of water. DEP is among the government agencies, businesses and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2014, the New York State Beach Cleanup included more than 6,800 volunteers who removed some 46 tons of debris from 245 miles of shorelines across the state.
“I would like to thank the outdoor enthusiasts, school groups, local business owners and other volunteers who are pledging their time for Reservoir Cleanup Day,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “The pristine nature of our reservoirs and forests attracts thousands of people, including local residents and visitors, to enjoy fishing and boating each year. We’ve been able to keep these natural resources free of debris thanks to this annual event and the year-round work of our dedicated staff at DEP.”
“In keeping with our tradition of providing supplies and tokens of appreciation to groups and individuals who keep our streams litter-free, the CWC is very happy to participate in the Reservoir Cleanup,” said Alan Rosa, Executive Director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. “We all have a stake in clean water, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure it stays that way.”
“We are pleased to have the New York City Department of Environmental Protection participate in the New York Beach Cleanup,” said Don Riepe, Director of the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter. “This year we are celebrating 30 years of organizing this annual event, which is the largest volunteer event affecting the shorelines and waterways of New York State. By cleaning the city’s reservoirs and the protected lands that surround them, DEP is providing a great example of environmental stewardship.”
Cleanups this year will happen at Ashokan, Cannonsville, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot, New Croton, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs. Each cleanup at these locations will begin at 1 p.m. and is expected to finish no later than 3 p.m. Volunteers will meet at central locations designated for each reservoir, which are listed below.
To help reach potential volunteers DEP has worked with local nonprofits, schools and community groups to establish captains for the cleanup effort at each reservoir. The captains will help recruit volunteers from their groups and others in the communities that surround the reservoirs. Those who wish to volunteer can also reach out to DEP by calling (800) 575-LAND or by firstname.lastname@example.org.
The captains and central meeting places for each reservoir are:
Ashokan Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Rondout Valley High School Community Service Club, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Ashokan Center, and Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail. Volunteers will meet at the Olivebridge Dam parking area on Route 28A.
Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Tina James, who leads the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District. Volunteers will meet at Cannonsville Bridge on Route 10, just north of Sands Creek Road.
Kensico Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by members of Trout Unlimited NYC and the organizers of WestchesterFishing.com. Volunteers will meet at the Kensico Laboratory located at 19 Westlake Drive in Valhalla.
Lake Gleneida: The cleanup effort will be led by the Carmel Civic Association. Volunteers will meet on Route 6 near the Sibyl Luddington Statue.
Muscoot Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Watershed Agricultural Council and the Lewisboro Land Trust. Volunteers will meet at the end of Old Bedford Road, near Goldens Bridge.
New Croton Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at Boat Area 20 on Route 100, located about one-quarter mile from Muscoot Farms.
Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Jim Rafferty of Bradley Boat Rentals. Volunteers will meet at the information kiosk on Route 55.
Pepacton Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by Ann Roberti of the Catskill Mountain Club and Diane Galusha of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. Volunteers will meet at the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch.
Rondout Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by Brenda Sloan from the Tri-Valley Central School. Volunteers will meet at the universal access parking lot located on Route 55A.
At each site, DEP and volunteers will keep a tally of the type and quantity of debris that is collected throughout the day. Data will be reported back to the American Littoral Society at the end of the event.
In recent years, DEP has continued to expand recreational access and programs on many of its water supply lands and reservoir. More than 126,000 acres of city-owned land and water are currently open for recreation, including fishing, hiking and boating. Of that, more than 63,000 of those acres, known as public access areas, can be used by outdoor enthusiasts without a DEP access permit. More information about recreation in the watersheds can be found by clicking the “Watershed Recreation” link on the DEP homepage.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visitnyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.