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Harbor Water

New York Harbor is making a comeback and the signs are all around. According to the city's most recent Harbor Survey Report, the Harbor is cleaner now than at any time in the last 100 years. Continued improvements to sewage handling and treatment are chiefly responsible for continued improvements to water quality, which have led to increased recreational opportunities such as swimming and fishing. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection conducts numerous programs designed to maintain this trend. DEP operates 14 sewage treatment plants that together treat around 1.3 billion gallons of sewage each day, and the agency also employs a fleet of boats that are used to monitor the waters and the shoreline for water quality and sources of pollution.



Canoeing in the harbor

Promoting Safe Public Access to Human-Powered Boating
New York City’s waterfront is experiencing a transformative resurgence with renewed interest for recreation and access to the water. From 2013 through 2015, three new City-funded access points will open to the public for launching human-powered boats.
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Collecting and recording harbor water samples

Harbor Water Sampling Data
Data analysis from harbor water samples collected at 70 sampling stations harborwide is availabe online.
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New York Harbor Water Quality Report

New York Harbor Water Quality Report
The City of New York has been collecting water quality data in New York Harbor since 1909. These data are utilized by regulators, scientists, educators and citizens to assess impacts, trends and improvements in the water quality of New York Harbor.
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NYC Waterbody Advisory Program

Current NYC Waterbody Advisories
During heavy rains or snow, New York City sewers can fill to capacity and are unable to carry the combined sanitary and storm sewage to the plants. When this occurs, the mix of excess storm water and untreated sewage flows directly into the city's waterways. DEP offers realtime conditons of our waterways through the NYC Waterbody Advisory Program.
Current NYC Waterbody Advisories




Superfund Listings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed both the Gowanus Canal (in March 2010) and Newtown Creek (in September 2010) on the CERCLA National Priorities List. CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund, is a federal statute aimed at cleaning up sites that are contaminated with hazardous substances. Both of these channels have a long history as industrial waterways dating back to the 1800s. The main goal of the Superfund process is to clean up the contamination that has accumulated in the sediments at the bottom of these waterbodies as a result of these historic industrial uses.
Superfund Listings


CSOs

Combined Sewer Overflows
During heavy rain and snow storms, treatment plants can hit overcapacity, and the mix of excess storm water and untreated sewage flows directly into the city's waterways. This is called a combined sewer overflow (CSO). Learn what DEP is doing to address CSOs and improve water quality.
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Nitrogen Control Program

Nitrogen Control Program
DEP has initiated a comprehensive program to reduce nitrogen discharges into the NY Harbor and to collect performance and cost data concerning the implementation of biological nutrient removal (BNR) technologies at the city’s fourteen wastewater treatment plants.
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Jamaica Bay Watershed

Jamaica Bay Watershed
Jamaica Bay – a 31-square-mile water body with a broader watershed of approximately 142 square miles – is a diverse ecological resource that supports multiple habitats, including open water, salt marshes, grasslands, coastal woodlands, maritime shrublands, and brackish and freshwater wetlands.
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Pump Out Stations

Pump Out Stations
To maintain New York Harbor water quality, most of New York’s marine and inland waters are designated as No Discharge Areas, where it is illegal for boaters to discharge sewage within these waters. Instead, boaters must use one of 12 New York City pump out stations to dispose of their sewage.
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Floatables Reduction Program

Floatables Reduction Program
Floatables are water-borne litter and debris that ends up in the city's storm drains and sewers, and can be discharged into surrounding waters during certain storm events. DEP conducts a number of activities aimed at controlling and reducing floatables.
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Reservoir Levels

Current: 70.3%

Normal: 72.5%