FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-61
July 21, 2014
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Department of Environmental Protection Releases 2014 Watershed Recreation Newsletter
Annual Newsletter Provides Updates on Hiking, Fishing, Boating and Other Recreational Activities on City Lands in Upstate Watersheds
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the release of its annual Watershed Recreation Newsletter, which serves as a guide for thousands of people who enjoy outdoor activities on City-owned land across the upstate watersheds. The 2014 edition includes information about a new rental program that makes recreational boating easier, new hiking trails that have opened in partnership with nonprofit organizations, and information about licensed guides that are now permitted to provide hiking, fishing and other professional tours on City-owned properties in the Catskills.
“We encourage residents from New York City, the upstate watersheds, and surrounding areas to enjoy the thousands of acres of land and water that DEP has opened for public access,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “Whether it’s hiking on trails in the Catskills or ice fishing on reservoirs in our Croton System, there are a growing number of ways for people to engage with our water supply and the protected lands that make it one of the best unfiltered water supplies in the world.”
The Watershed Recreation Newsletter provides information about the recreational boating program, which has attracted more than 2,500 visitors to the Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie reservoirs since 2012. It also includes details about four new hiking trails that DEP is developing in partnership with local hiking organizations and land stewards. Those who regularly use City-owned property for recreation will also find helpful safety tips and information on keeping their free DEP access permits up to date.
There are now 118,000 acres of City-owned land open for recreation in the watersheds, including 84,100 acres of land, and reservoirs that comprise 33,900 acres. Of that, 60,000 acres of land are in public access areas that are open to recreation without a DEP permit.
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 others 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 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 nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.