FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13-77
July 9, 2013
Chris Gilbride / Ted Timbers (DEP) (718) 595-6600
Vito A. Turso / Belinda Mager (DSNY) (646) 885-5020
Arthur Pincus (DPR) (212) 360-1311
Peter Brandt (EPA) (212) 637-3654
Mark Zustovich (DYCD) (212) 676-8208
New York City and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Launch 2013 “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” Campaign
Educational Initiative to Improve Cleanliness and Aesthetics of City Beaches by Reducing Littering on Streets and in Parks;
Summer Youth Employment Program Will Spearhead Cleanups of Waterfront Properties Affected by Hurricane Sandy in July and August
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Clean Water Director Joan Leary Matthews, Parks Department Chief of Operations for Staten Island Lynda Ricciardone, and Department of Youth and Community Development Deputy Commissioner Suzanne Lynn today launched “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches”, a public information campaign and beach clean-up program aimed at improving the cleanliness and aesthetics of New York City beaches by reducing littering. When it rains, trash and debris discarded on city streets and sidewalks washes down storm drains and can end up on beaches. This summer, “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” posters will be displayed at area beaches and on approximately 2,000 Sanitation vehicles citywide. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will join with the Department of Youth and Community Development to clean waterfront properties affected by Hurricane Sandy in July and August. DEP will also be giving away thousands of reusable tote bags at city beaches throughout the summer that people can use instead of disposable plastic bags that can end up on the streets. The program was launched at MCU Park in Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, where staff distributed “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” flyer toys to approximately 5,000 children attending the Cyclones game from area day camps and the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
“New York waterways are cleaner today than they have been in generations and our beaches are open for the public to enjoy,” said DEP Commissioner Strickland. “With our partners in both city and federal government, we will continue to highlight the critical link between clean streets and clean water so that beaches remain safe, clean, and enjoyable for all New Yorkers.”
“Partnerships such as Clean Streets = Clean Beaches go a long way in helping to ensure all New Yorkers can enjoy our City beaches,” said Sanitation Commissioner Doherty. “Litter on our streets today can end up on our beaches tomorrow. When everyone does their part, we can all look forward to a clean and beautiful New York City for years to come.”
“Opening our beaches this summer was a major accomplishment for the Parks Department and for all the agencies who worked with us to make it happen,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “Now we are so pleased to be working with our sister agencies to ensure that the beaches remain clean through the Clean Streets = Clean Beaches program.”
“The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign is about taking pride in our community,” said Joan Leary Matthews, Director of EPA Region 2’s Clean Water Division. “Garbage in our streets can end up in our sewers, which can end up on our beaches. Taking a moment to make sure that trash is disposed of properly can make a positive impact wherever you live.”
“More than 35,000 teens and young adults are employed at over 6,000 diverse worksites as part of DYCD’s Summer Youth Employment Program, including more than 200 young people sprucing up our city’s waterfront,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “Whether it’s helping with Hurricane Sandy recovery or taking part in the Clean Streets = Clean Beaches program, this summer our youth are learning lifelong lessons about the value of hard work and the rewards of giving back to their communities.”
The “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” campaign began in the early 1990s to highlight the link between litter on the streets and trash found on area beaches. The 2013 program will utilize an informational poster for display at area beaches as well as on Department of Sanitation fleet vehicles, which include approximately 400 mechanical brooms that sweep litter from more than 6,000 miles of streets per day. Additionally, the Department services more than 25,000 litter baskets daily.
DEP inspects and cleans approximately 148,000 catch basins city-wide which trap litter before it makes its way into the sewer line and operates a fleet of five skimmer boats that, along with booms surrounding 23 major sewer outfalls throughout the city, are used to capture debris before it reaches local waterways, including wood, plastic, metal, rubber, and glass. In addition, DEP recently completed the installation of three litter control devices that use hydraulic bar screens and nylon netting systems to capture litter within sewer outfalls before it can reach the Bronx River. Over the last 18 months the nylon netting system has prevented more than 10 tons of trash from reaching the River. This is the first time this type of technology is being used in New York City and, later this year, DEP will complete construction on a similar facility at the head of the Gowanus Canal.
This week DEP also launched the Summer 2013 Waterfront Clean-Up program that includes cleanups of properties affected by Hurricane Sandy. DEP is partnering with the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program to hire nearly 100 young New Yorkers who will spend approximately 25 hours a week removing litter and debris from waterfront properties. The program will help promote environmental stewardship and provide valuable work experience.