FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15-87
October 9, 2015
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Department of Environmental Protection Announces Results from 2015 Reservoir Cleanup
More than 300 volunteers from across the Hudson Valley and Catskills collected hundreds of pounds of debris from the shores of nine upstate reservoirs
Photos of the cleanup at each reservoir are available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that 347 volunteers from across the Hudson Valley and Catskills collected 19 pickup truck loads of debris during this year’s Reservoir Cleanup Day. The effort to remove debris, litter and recyclables across dozens of miles of shoreline was led by school groups, business leaders, local nonprofits and watershed citizens. The Oct. 4 event was co-sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), which provided gloves and bags for the volunteers.
The event comprised cleanup efforts at nine water supply reservoirs, including Ashokan, Cannonsville, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot, New Croton, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs. In total, volunteers collected more than 100 bags of debris and recyclables—enough to fill 19 pickup trucks. In many cases, the debris had blown onto the reservoir property from nearby roadsides, or had washed up along the shores from storms. Some was also left behind at access areas used by the public for fishing and boating.
“We hope that Reservoir Cleanup Day underscores the environmental impact of littering along the shores of all New York’s water bodies, including our upstate reservoirs,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “I want to thank the school children, nonprofit groups, business leaders, watershed residents and DEP staff who dedicated their time to this cleanup effort. Their hard work will ensure that our natural resources remain pristine for the thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy them every year.”
“As always, we are glad to help keep our waters clean,” Catskill Watershed Corporation Executive Director Alan Rosa said. “It’s good to see so many people come out to lend a hand.”
Debris collected during the cleanup included 3,406 glass, plastic and metal beverage containers, 402 grocery bags, 712 food wrappers, 643 takeout food containers, 360 pieces of fishing line, 40 tires, and 2,134 broken pieces of glass, plastic and foam. Some relatively unique pieces of debris—including part of a shopping cart, a large sofa, and a tattered snow sled—were also found during the cleanup. Recyclable materials were separated from trash as the volunteers collected the debris from the cleanup areas. Reservoir Cleanup Day was among dozens of similar events happening across the state as part of the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Cleanup, which organizes volunteers to remove debris from beaches, lakes and other popular bodies of water. Data from the reservoir cleanups was reported back to the American Littoral Society to generate a statewide tally that will soon be available. DEP is among the government agencies, businesses and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2014, the New York State Beach Cleanup included more than 6,800 volunteers who removed some 46 tons of debris from 245 miles of shorelines across the state. The event is also part of International Beach Cleanup Day, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, in an effort to combat worldwide marine debris.
Reservoir Cleanup Day could not have been a success without considerable help from captains who were selected to lead the volunteer recruitment and cleanup at each of the reservoirs. These cleanup captains included:
Ashokan Reservoir: The cleanup effort was led by the Rondout Valley High School Community Service Club, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Ashokan Center, and Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail.
Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort was led by Tina James and students involved in the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District.
Kensico Reservoir: The cleanup effort was led by members of Trout Unlimited NYC and the organizers of WestchesterFishing.com.
Lake Gleneida: The cleanup effort was led by the Carmel Civic Association.
Muscoot Reservoir: The cleanup effort was led by the Watershed Agricultural Council and the Lewisboro Land Trust.
Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort was led by Jim Rafferty of Bradley Boat Rentals, and Keith Mentnech and his Boy Scouts from Troop 97.
Pepacton Reservoir: The cleanup was led by Ann Roberti of the Catskill Mountain Club and Diane Galusha of the Catskill Watershed Corporation.
Rondout Reservoir: The cleanup was led by Brenda Sloan from the Tri-Valley Central School.
In recent years, DEP has continued to expand recreational access and programs on many of its water supply lands and reservoirs. More than 126,000 acres of city-owned land and water are currently open for recreation, including fishing, hiking and boating. Of that, more than 63,000 of those acres, known as public access areas, can be used by outdoor enthusiasts without a DEP access permit. More information about recreation in the watersheds can be found by clicking the “Watershed Recreation” link on the DEP homepage.
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 nearly $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.