FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2013
Adam Bosch (DEP) (845) 334-7868 / Chris Gilbride (DEP) (718) 595-6600
Department of Environmental Protection Announces Reopening of All 40 Boat Launch Areas That Were Closed Because of Damage from Hurricane Sandy
Storm Toppled Thousands of Trees, Forcing the Closure of Boat Launches at Nine Reservoirs
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that 40 recreational boat launch areas at nine City-owned reservoirs, primarily east of the Hudson River, that were closed because of storm damage from Hurricane Sandy have been reopened. The October hurricane toppled nearly 2,000 trees around the Cross River, Croton Falls, East Branch, Kensico, Muscoot, New Croton, Rondout, Titicus and West Branch reservoirs.
“DEP’s reservoirs have long been an attraction for New Yorkers who enjoy outdoor recreation,” said Commissioner Carter Strickland. “Despite the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and thanks to the hard work of the dedicated men and women who deliver more than a billion gallons of safe drinking water to New York City every day, I am thrilled that our boat launches will be open for the hundreds of fisherman who plan to visit New York City’s scenic reservoirs this Memorial Day weekend.”
Following the storm, many trees at the nine reservoirs were leaning on or towards power lines, or fell in ways that made them a hazard to public safety. DEP’s clean-up efforts began immediately following Sandy. However, workers could not clear many of the trees during the winter months because snow and wind made work conditions hazardous. The majority of boat launch areas were reopened before the April 1 start of fishing season and all of the remaining work was recently completed.
Approximately 90 percent of the wood from the fallen trees was either chipped to be beneficially reused or left intact at the sites for landscaping. The other 10 percent, consisting of straight logs, was recycled and used to build roadside parking lot barriers.
The boat-launch sites are used almost year-round by a number of groups, including fishermen, DEP water quality staff, police, and state authorities who stock the reservoirs with fish.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.3 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties. 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 others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 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 over $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, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.