FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15-21
April 6, 2015
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Department of Environmental Protection Releases 2015 Watershed Recreation Newsletter
Annual Newsletter Provides Updates on Hiking, Fishing, Boating and Other Recreational Activities on City Lands in the Watershed
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 2015 edition includes a calendar of outdoor events – including hikes, special fishing days, and educational tours – that are suitable for families. The newsletter also highlights information about DEP’s recreational boating program, results from Reservoir Cleanup Day, and information about safely recreating on City lands.
“This annual newsletter is a great opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to look back at the opportunities we’ve expanded on water supply lands, and look forward to events coming up in the year ahead,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “Whether it’s kayaking on one of our reservoirs in the Catskills or hiking a mountainside trail with a great view of the watershed, DEP is always looking for new ways to help people engage with New York City’s water supply and the protected lands that keep it pristine.”
The Watershed Recreation Newsletter provides information about increased participation in DEP’s recreational boating program, which saw another 10 percent increase of paddlers in 2014, and it tells the story of a recent driftwood giveaway at Ashokan Reservoir that attracted some 200 artists and craftsmen from the watershed and the metropolitan area. Those who regularly use City-owned property for recreation will also find helpful safety tips and information on keeping their free DEP access permits and boat tags up to date.
Central to this year’s newsletter is a calendar of events that DEP will host throughout the year. More information on these events will be posted throughout the year on DEP’s watershed Facebook page. Some highlights include:
- May 23 – Wetlands Walk: DEP biologists will lead a tour of a wetland in Putnam County and share information about the unique plants and animals that call this habitat home.
- May 29 – Opening of the Rock Rift Trail: Join DEP and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference to open a new hiking trail that leads to a fire tower high above Cannonsville Reservoir.
- June – Opening of Bramley Mountain Trail: DEP and the Catskill Mountain Club will celebrate the opening of a new trail on Bramley Mountain in the Delaware County town of Delhi. The celebration will include a guided hike for the public.
- June 6 – Family Fishing Day at Lake Gleneida: Experts will teach kids how to fish, and bait and a limited number of fishing poles will be provided. Bring your own if you have them. This annual event is co-sponsored by New York State DEC.
- Aug. 15 – Wetlands Walk at Yankeetown Pond: Wetlands biologists will lead an educational tour of the bog at this site in the Ulster County town of Woodstock, focusing on the unique plants and animals that live in the wetland habitat.
- Sept. 19 – Family Fishing Day at Ashokan Reservoir: One of DEP’s most popular events. Experts will teach kids how to fish, and bait and a limited number of fishing poles will be provided. Bring y our own if you them. This event is also co-sponsored by the New York State DEC.
- Oct. 4 – Reservoir Cleanup Day: Take pride in cleaning our natural resources. Join dozens of volunteers from across the Catskills and Hudson Valley for our annual cleanup around New York City’s scenic reservoirs.
There are now more than 126,000 acres of city-owned land open for recreation in the watersheds, including roughly 90,000 acres of land, and reservoirs that comprise 36,000 acres. Of that, 63,769 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 other 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, or follow us on Twitter.