FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03-65
Hearings to Be Held on Department of Environmental Protection’s
Waterfowl Management Program
Environmental Impact Statement Released
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) announced today that the agency has released the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed expansion of it
Waterfowl Management Program. The DEP will take written comments on the
DEIS until November 21.
“The Waterfowl Management Program is an important part of our
overall strategy to protect the water supply that over nine million people
rely on every day,” said Commissioner Ward. “I urge residents
to comment on the DEIS so that the City can tailor the Program to have
a minimal impact on the surrounding communities.”
There will also be two public hearings on the DEIS where the public
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The Waterfowl Management Program uses various methods
to discourage waterbirds such as gulls and geese from congregating near
reservoirs, where they can leave droppings that introduce bacteria into
the water supply. Among the methods DEP has used are motorboats, which
cruise the reservoirs chasing birds away; pyrotechnic devices, which
use noise to scare away birds; modifications to the physical environment,
such as allowing grass to grow, which discourages geese; and the damaging
of eggs so that roosting geese cannot reproduce.
The Waterfowl Management Program has been in place at the Kensico Reservoir
in Westchester since 1993. The current DEIS examines the effects of expanding
the Program to the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster, the Rondout Reservoir
in Ulster and Sullivan, the West Branch and Croton Falls Reservoirs in
Putnam and the Cross River Reservoir in Westchester.
The use of pyrotechnic noise-making devices to scare away birds is only
needed at limited times of the year, typically including the late fall
and early winter. Even during these times, pyrotechnic devices are usually
only used during a four-hour period around sunset.
The DEIS attempts to identify the effect of the expanded Program on
these areas. Among the factors studied are noise levels in the surrounding
communities, the effect of the Program on “community character,”
and the effect of the Program on natural resources such as plants and
other species of birds and wildlife. Ecological field surveys have been
ongoing at some of these reservoirs since 1995. Field work to evaluate
noise at the five reservoirs was conducted this spring in preparation
for the DEIS.
Comments received at the public hearing or in writing by November 21
will be addressed in a Final EIS, which the DEP expects to issue by the
end of the year. Written comments should be mailed to:
Diane M. McCarthy
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Environmental Planning and Assessment
59-17 Junction Boulevard , 11th Floor
Flushing, New York 11373-5108
Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 62-page Executive Summary of the DEIS is available online on DEP’s
Web site at http://nyc.gov/dep/html/waterfowleis.html.