FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-79
August 2, 2016
DEP (718) 595-6600
DSNY (646) 885-5020
DPR (212) 360-1311
EPA (212) 637-3654
DYCD (212) 676-8208
“Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” Anti-Littering Campaign Launches in Coney Island
Educational Initiative Aims 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
Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, Sanitation Commissioner (DSNY) Kathryn Garcia, NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Clean Water Acting Director Jeffrey Gratz today launched “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches”, a public information campaign and beach clean-up program aimed at reducing littering and improving the cleanliness and aesthetics of New York City beaches. When it rains, trash and debris discarded on city streets and sidewalks can be washed down storm drains and 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, DEP will join with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to clean trash and debris from waterfront properties. The program was launched at MCU Park in Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, where children attended the Cyclones game from area day camps and the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
“Throughout the summer, the city’s beautiful beaches, from Orchard Beach in the Bronx to Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island, are choice destinations for New Yorkers looking to swim and sunbathe,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage all New Yorkers to pitch in, do their part and keep the beaches safe and clean. Do the right thing and put your trash where it belongs—in a litter basket and not on the street.”
“The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches partnership goes a long way in helping to ensure all New Yorkers can enjoy our City’s incredible beaches,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Litter on our streets today could end up on our beaches tomorrow. When everyone does their part, we can all look forward to a cleaner and more beautiful New York City for many years to come.”
“New York’s fourteen miles of beaches are some of our city’s greatest assets, and they’ve never been better, as proven by the millions of visitors who enjoy them. And keeping the beaches clean and free of litter is a vital part of caring for our city,” said NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey. “And care is the difference that will bring our public spaces from being simply resources, to being emotional touchstones for the communities they serve. NYC Parks is proud to work with our partners from DSNY, DYCD, DEP, EPA, the Brooklyn Cyclones and local kids on the ‘Clean Streets = Clean Beaches’ campaign, drawing needed attention to the link between litter on the streets that washes down storm drains and litter that washes up onto area beaches. Together, we can all chip in to maintain and enjoy a healthy, beautiful environment.”
“The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign means a cleaner and greener City and an opportunity for our Summer Youth Employment Program participants to learn the value of hard work, giving back to their communities, and beautifying our neighborhoods and waterfront properties for all to enjoy,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “Through this initiative, our young people not only learn about the value of civic engagement, but inspire their peers and all New Yorkers to take great pride in their City.”
“The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign is about taking pride in our community—both on land and in our ocean and harbor,” said Jeffrey Gratz, Acting Director of EPA Region 2’s Clean Water Division. “The marine life that live in and around our waterways and beaches are precious. We must all remember that garbage on our streets can end up in storm drains, and that garbage can end up on our beaches. Let’s work together to stop littering and reduce our waste.”
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 2016 program will utilize an informational poster for display at area beaches as well as on Department of Sanitation fleet vehicles, which include approximately 450 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 can make its way into the sewer line. In addition, a fleet of skimmer boats, along with booms surrounding 23 major sewer outfalls throughout the city, are used to capture any debris that makes it through the catch basins before it reaches local waterways, including wood, plastic, metal, rubber, and glass. DEP has also built three litter control devices located within sewer outfalls along the Bronx River, and one at the head of the Gowanus Canal, that use hydraulic bar screens and nylon netting systems to capture litter before it can reach the river.
Also recently launched is the Summer 2016 Waterfront Clean-Up program where DEP partners with DYCD’s Summer Youth Employment Program to hire nearly 200 young New Yorkers who will spend approximately 25 hours a week removing litter and debris from waterfront properties. The program helps to promote environmental stewardship and provide valuable work experience.