FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-86
September 11, 2018
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Department of Environmental Protection Announces 2018 Reservoir Cleanup Day
Volunteers from the Catskills and Hudson Valley will lead cleanups at nine reservoirs
Fifth annual Reservoir Cleanup Day scheduled for Sept. 30; cleanups begin at 12pm
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will team up with school groups, business leaders, environmental advocates, local nonprofits and watershed citizens to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine water supply reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Hundreds of volunteers are expected to participate in DEP’s fifth Reservoir Cleanup Day on Sunday, Sept. 30. The volunteers will remove debris from areas that are generally used for fishing and boating access. Reservoir Cleanup Day is made possible with support from the Catskill Watershed Corporation.
This year’s cleanup follows a record-setting effort in 2017, during which 418 volunteers removed more than 300 bags of debris and recyclables from reservoir shorelines. The haul weighed more than 4,500 pounds. In many cases, debris blew onto reservoir property from nearby roads, washed down toward the reservoirs by streams and rivers, or was left behind at access areas used by the public for fishing and boating.
DEP’s Reservoir Cleanup Day is 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. DEP is among the government agencies, businesses and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2017, a total of 5,025 people participated in cleanup events throughout New York, removing 34,548 pounds of debris along 191 miles of shoreline.
“Reservoir Cleanup Day is special because it encourages each of us to volunteer and take responsibility for the cleanliness of our natural resources,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “Thousands of people each year visit our reservoirs and the forests that surround them because they are beautifully pristine—but they only stay that way through work and education. I want to thank all the volunteers in advance for their hard work, benevolence and commitment.”
Cleanups this year will happen at Ashokan, Cannonsville, Neversink and Pepacton reservoirs in the Catskills, and at East Branch, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot and New Croton reservoirs in the Hudson Valley. Each cleanup at these locations will begin at 12pm and is expected to finish no later than 3pm. Volunteers will meet at central locations designated for each reservoir, which are listed below. DEP will have tents or signs posted at each of the locations to help volunteers find them.
To help reach volunteers, DEP has worked with local nonprofits, schools and community groups for the cleanup effort at each reservoir. Those who wish to volunteer can also reach out to DEP by calling (800) 575-LAND or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-registration is highly encouraged. Registration links for each cleanup can be found below, or by visiting DEP’s NYC Watershed Facebook page.
- Ashokan Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the “Frying Pan” parking area just off Route 28A. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- Cannonsville Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the Apex Bridge Boat Launch Area at the corner of Routes 10 and 268 in Walton. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- Neversink Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the kiosk near the dam on Route 55 in Neversink. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- Pepacton Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the Miller Hollow Boat Launch Area near on Route 30 in Colchester. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- Muscoot Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the end of Old Bedford Road in Goldens Bridge. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- Kensico Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the old Kensico Laboratory near Aerator Road and Westlake Drive in Valhalla. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- Lake Gleneida: Volunteers will meet near the Sybil Ludington Statue on Route 6. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- East Branch Reservoir: Volunteers will meet near the boat mooring area No. EB5, which is located on Milltown Road, across the street from Burdick Road. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
- New Croton Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at boat storage area No. 20 on Route 100, about one-quarter mile west of Muscoot Farms. Those interested in joining this cleanup can click here to register.
DEP and volunteers will keep a tally of the type and quantity of debris that is collected at each site throughout the day. Data will be reported back to the American Littoral Society at the end of the event.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.6 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 watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 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 $19.1 billion in investments planned over the next decade 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.